Suspects linked to terror attack at Mali luxury hotel indicted

Two men have been indicted on charges of complicity in terrorism for the attack on a luxury hotel in Mali's capital in November that killed 20 people, the prosecutor said Wednesday.

The Malians were arrested Nov. 26 and indicted on Dec. 16, said Boubacar Sidiki Samake, who is heading the investigation into the attacks on the Radisson Blu hotel along with specialists from the United Nations and France.

"These two people were identified on a surveillance video. They are not residents in Bamako and we found cash on each of them in the amount of 200,000 CFA ($330) which is enough to leave Mali," Samake said.

American Anita Ashok Datar, 41, died in the Mali luxury hotel attack.

American Anita Ashok Datar, 41, died in the Mali luxury hotel attack. (Tulalens)

Two gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives stormed the hotel before 7 a.m., striking just as security guards were about to change shifts. After shooting four of the five guards, killing one, they fired wildly in the lobby and breakfast dining area before heading to the hotel's upper floors.

Malian troops, backed by French and American special forces, swarmed in to retake the building and free terrified guests and hotel staff during a siege that lasted more than seven hours.

The gunmen were killed at the scene. Mali's interior ministry said among those killed were six Malians and six Russians, along with three Chinese, two Belgians, one American, one Israeli and one Senegalese.

Samake said that investigations will continue into the attack. Two Islamic extremist groups, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun, said they launched the attack together.

Authorities found a piece of paper on the gunmen after the attack that had the names of two members of al-Mourabitoun on it, Samake said. Both of the people listed are in prison, one in Mauritania and the other in Niger.