A luxury hotel in central Bamako, the Malian capital, was attack Friday morning by unidentified gunmen, who seized 170 guests and staff.
Among the hostages were seven Chinese tourists.
Witnesses said at least two security officials were killed in front of the Radisson Blu hotel which is the largest one in Bamako with nearly 90 percent of its 190 rooms occupied.
Security forces have set up a security perimeter around the hotel where sporadic shootings could still be heard.
(This video was filmed by one of the Chinese tourists trapped inside the hotel.)