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Official: 4 hostages freed from Mali hotel after standoff with jihadis that leaves 13 dead

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Malian troops man an observation post outside Sevare, some 620 kms (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako. Four people held by Islamic extremists in a hotel in Sevare in central Mali were freed Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 by the army and special forces, after fighting since Friday left a number of dead, Mali's defense ministry adviser said. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Malian troops man an observation post outside Sevare, some 620 kms (385 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako. Four people held by Islamic extremists in a hotel in Sevare in central Mali were freed Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 by the army and special forces, after fighting since Friday left a number of dead, Mali's defense ministry adviser said. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 file photo, a Malian soldier takes position on the outskirts of Sevare, Mali, some 620 kms (385 miles) north of the capital Bamako. Four people held by Islamic extremists in a hotel in Sevare in central Mali were freed Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 by the army and special forces, after fighting since Friday left a number of dead, Mali's defense ministry adviser said. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 file photo, a Malian soldier takes position on the outskirts of Sevare, Mali, some 620 kms (385 miles) north of the capital Bamako. Four people held by Islamic extremists in a hotel in Sevare in central Mali were freed Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 by the army and special forces, after fighting since Friday left a number of dead, Mali's defense ministry adviser said. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

Mali's defense ministry adviser says that four hostages have been freed from a hotel in central Mali after a standoff with Islamic extremists that left 13 people dead.

Lt. Col. Diarran Kone said that the operation ended early Saturday and five additional bodies were found in the Hotel Byblos, including four hotel staff and one jihadi. Officials had earlier announced that five Malian soldiers were killed, two jihadis and a U.N. contractor, bringing the total death toll to 13.

Lt. Col. Kone said Mali's gendarmerie and partners ended the standoff that started Friday after the extremists attacked the hotel frequented by U.N. staff.

Mali's jihadi groups have been stepping up their attacks further south from their strongholds in the north.