At least 27 people were reported dead on Friday after Malian commandos stormed a luxury hotel, Radisson Blu in Bamako with at least 170 people inside, many of them foreigners, that had been seized by Islamist gunmen.
By late afternoon, ministerial adviser Amadou Sangho told the French television station BFMTV that no more hostages were being held.
But a U.N. official said U.N. peacekeepers on the scene had seen 27 bodies in a preliminary count, and that a search of hotel was continuing. It was not clear whether any of the gunmen, who were said to have dug in on the seventh floor of the hotel as special forces advanced on them, were still active.
The peacekeepers saw 12 dead bodies in the basement of the hotel and another 15 on the second floor, the U.N. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. He added that the U.N. troops were still helping Malian authorities search the hotel.
A man working for a Belgian regional parliament was among the dead, the assembly said.
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