BAMAKO, Mali – A luxury hotel attacked by Islamic extremists last week in Mali's capital will re-open "as soon as possible," the chairman of the hotel's Brussels-based operating group said.
Wolfgang M. Neumann, chairman of the Rezidor Hotel Group that operates the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, has met with the families of three hotel employees killed in Friday's attack that claimed 19 lives, offering "immediate emergency support," according to a statement posted to the company's website and dated Tuesday.
Neumann also met with injured hotel employees and the hotel's owner, Cesse Kome, according to the statement.
"We paid tribute to the colleagues we have lost, underlined our solidarity and our commitment to Bamako," Neumann said. "We will re-open the Radisson Blu hotel as soon as possible to welcome our international guests again to Mali."
On Wednesday, Mali was set to conclude a three-day period of national mourning for those killed in the assault on the Radisson Blu, the second attack executed by Islamic extremists in Bamako this year. Funerals for the dead hotel employees were scheduled to begin in the late afternoon.
Officials have yet to identify the two assailants killed in the attack, whose photographs were broadcast on state media on Monday. The first Islamic extremist group to claim responsibility — Al-Mourabitoun, or The Sentinels — issued an audio recording on Sunday purporting to identify the gunmen, using names that suggested they were Malian.
Mali is home to a peacekeeping mission with more than 10,000 military and police personnel, established after a French-led military intervention in early 2013 drove Islamic extremists from the cities and towns they had overtaken in the country's north.
Germany's defense minister on Wednesday said the country wanted to send 650 soldiers to Mali to support the mission, which currently boasts only 10 German soldiers.