© AFP/File | A Malian police officer stands guard as workers clean up ouside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 22, 2015, two days after a deadly attack
BAMAKO (AFP) – A Mauritanian man suspected of planning and carrying out a string of deadly attacks on sites popular with foreigners in Mali last year has been arrested in Bamako, security sources said Friday.
Arrested on Thursday, the man is believed to have taken part in an attack on a bar in Bamako in March 2015, the sources said.
He is also suspected of planning the deadly assaults on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November and the Byblos hotel in central Mali in August.
BAMAKO, Mali — Malian special forces have arrested two men over last week’s attack on a luxury hotel in the capital that killed 19 people, according to a statement distributed Friday morning.
The statement identified the two men, both arrested in Bamako, but provided no other details on their background or their potential roles in the attack.
“Questioning of these suspects will shed more light on the motivations of the perpetrators of the sordid terrorist attack perpetrated” at the Radisson Blu hotel on Nov. 20, said the statement sent by army Maj. Modibo Naman Traore.
Two gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives stormed the hotel before 7 a.m. on Nov. 20, 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, and on Monday state media broadcast their photos, asking anyone with information about them to come forward.
The attack has been claimed by the Al-Mourabitoun extremist group, which said it had cooperated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the Macina Liberation Front, a group active in central Mali that said it had worked with yet another militant group, Ansar Dine.
On Sunday, Al-Mourabitoun issued a statement purporting to identify the gunmen, using names suggesting they were Malian, but authorities have yet to confirm their identities.
The 19 dead included an American aid worker, three senior officials with a Chinese railway company and six employees of a Russian cargo company in addition to three hotel employees.