Ukrainian pilots from UN mission taken hostage at siege of Mali hotel
Ukrainian pilots from the MINUSMA force (the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali) have reportedly been taken hostage during a siege at a hotel in the Malian town of Sevare, where the attackers have also taken South African and French citizens as hostages, according to FRANCE 24.
At least seven people, including four soldiers and two gunmen, were killed on Friday in an ongoing siege at the hotel, FRANCE 24 reported with reference to the Malian army.
Attackers stormed the Byblos hotel early on Friday in what military sources and local residents said appeared to be an attempt to kidnap Western hotel guests.
The hotel is reportedly popular with troops from the MINUSMA force.
Nationals from South Africa, France and Ukraine had also been in the hotel, Malian military spokesman Souleymane Dembele said in a text message, FRANCE 24 wrote.
"It is a hostage-taking," another military source said, adding that two of the troops surrounding the Byblos hotel had been killed and another three injured.