Friday, November 20, 2015

France's Hollande calls on nationals to be vigilant in "sensitive" countries. Fifty elite French counter-terrorism officers are flying to Bamako

French President Francois Hollande called on French expatriates to be vigilant in "sensitive" countries, especially in Mali where a terrorist assault at a luxury hotel packed with foreigners left at least three dead.

"I ask our nationals in sensitive countries to take precautions," said Hollande, calling on those living in Mali to contact the French embassy in Bamako to ensure their safety.

"Life must go on for the economic activity and development in these countries, but it's important in such situations to think about security," he added on the sidelines of a meeting on the Paris Climate Change Summit.

Unidentified armed men stormed on Friday stormed a luxury hotel in central Bamako, taking 170 hostages, including French and Chinese nationals.

Eighty hostages have been released so far, Malian media reported.

In a statement, Air France announced that its 12 crew members at Radisson Blu Hotel were "in a safe place."

Flights from France from and to Bamako have been cancelled on Friday, the flag carrier added.

"The raid has started and we will use all the means available to us on the ground to free the hostages," Hollande stressed.

Fifty elite French counter-terrorism officers are flying to Bamako on Friday to help boost security, according to local reports.

 Xinhua -

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