BAMAKO, Mali – Malians woke up Saturday to a state of emergency after Friday's shocking assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital, which a military commander said killed at least 20 people plus two assailants.
The attack was claimed by an extremist group led by notorious Algerian militant Moktar Belmoktar, according to a statement carried by Al-Jazeera that also described coordination with Al-Qaida's "Sahara Emirate."
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced a 10-day state of emergency beginning Friday night. He said a three-day period of national mourning was due to begin Monday, with flags flying at half-mast.
Keita had been attending a security summit in Chad on Friday but returned to Mali and convened an emergency cabinet meeting.
The dead included one American, a 41-year-old development worker.