At least three people have been killed in a deadly shooting rampage at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali.
Witnesses said the gunmen, numbering up to 10, shouting “Allahu Akbar”, have been going floor to floor and taken 140 guests and 30 members of staff hostage.
Witnesses described how the gunmen allowed some hostages to leave safely after they proved they were able to recite verses of the Koran to the militants.
US and French Special Forces have reportedly stormed the hotel and have began to clear the building one floor at a time.
It has been gathered that up to 80 hostages have been released. It is not yet clear what has happened to the remaining 90.
Nigerians are believed to be among the hostages.