Islamic gunmen attack Mali hotel
BAMAKO, Mali — Gunmen attacked a hotel in Bamako, Mali, on Friday. Visitors from around the world were staying there. The hotel is called the Radisson Blu.
Bamako is in Mali, a country in West Africa. It is Mali's main city.
The gunmen belong to a group known as the Mourabitounes. They are one of several groups trying to take over Mali. They want Malians to live under their kind of Islam.
Islam is a religion, like Christianity or Judaism. It one of the world's main religions. Its followers are called Muslims.
A Rough Form Of Islam
There are many different kinds of Islam.
The kind of Islam the Mourabitounes are trying to spread is very rough. There is no room for people who think differently.
The Mourabitounes believe it is all right to kill people in order to spread their kind of Islam.
Most Muslims are nothing like the Mourabitounes. Most kinds of Islam are nothing like what the Mourabitounes believe in.
There are other groups of Islamic fighters, though. Al-Qaida is one. It was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York. The Mourabitounes once worked with Al-Qaida. Another Islamic extremist group is ISIS, the group that just attacked Paris, France. It is also called Islamic State.
Not Everyone Made It Out Alive
The attack on the Radisson Blu hotel began early Friday. Around 170 people were taken prisoner. Some were able to hide or escape.
Malian soldiers soon hurried to the hotel. Both U.S. and French soldiers joined them.
The soldiers swarmed into the hotel. They went after the Mourabitounes floor by floor. By evening they had freed all the prisoners.
Not everyone made it out alive, though. Eighteen people in the hotel were killed. One Malian soldier died as well.
The people who were staying in the hotel came from many countries. Around six came from the U.S.
Attackers Were Striking Against The French
Still, many people think what happened was not only an attack on Mali. They also think the attackers were striking against France and the French.
Mali was once a French colony. It was run by France. Mali did not split off from France until 1960.
Since then, France has remained close to Mali. It has been fighting against Islamic fighters in Mali.
For that reason, many feel Friday's attack was also an attack on the French.
Last Friday, ISIS fighters struck in Paris. It is the biggest city in France. They killed 129 people and wounded hundreds.
French President Francois Hollande spoke out against the new attack. France must stand with Mali, he said.