Corporate BigLaw partner held hostage at luxury hotel in Mali is safe

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A corporate partner at a Canadian BigLaw firm is safe after being held hostage at a luxury hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali, on Friday.

Pierre Boivin of McCarthy Tetrault and other Canadians known to have been in the Radisson hotel as it was stormed by Islamic extremists armed with guns and grenades are all right. However, at least 20 people, including an American international development worker, were killed in the siege. A soldier died outside the hotel and at least 19 people were fatally wounded inside, according to Associated Press. USA Today, Reuters and the Canadian Press also have stories.

Family and friends of Boivin are “tremendously relieved,” a McCarthy Tetrault spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for the United Nations Mali mission said late in the day on Friday that two militants were dead, USA Today reported.

The attack began at about 7 a.m., as two or three men armed with AK-47 rifles arrived at the hotel in a vehicle with diplomatic plates and began firing, spokesman Olivier Salgado said. The hotel was hosting a diplomatic meeting at the time.

Mali special forces, assisted by U.S. and French troops, followed the gunmen into the hotel and cleared it, floor by floor, bringing the situation under control within about seven hours, according to the Associated Press.

It is not yet clear who carried out the attacks, but the Islamist militant group Al Mourabitoun has claimed responsibility, saying that it worked in conjunction with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as a retaliation for government aggression in northern Mali, CNN reports.

Related coverage:

BBC News: “Mali hotel attack: The unanswered questions”

New York Times: “Mali Hotel Attack Leaves Dozens Dead, Including an American”

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