Seeks global effort: Putin Global Anti-Terrorism

Published: November 22, 2015

Seeks global effort: Putin Global Anti-Terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday global cooperation was needed to confront terrorism in the wake of an Islamist militant attack targeting foreigners in a luxury hotel in Mali that killed 19 people.
Friday’s assault on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako came a week after militants killed 130 people in a spate of gun and bomb attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State. France on Friday extended a state of emergency until February as police pursued raids and investigations, with over 250 people detained.

The bloodshed in Mali, a former French colony, was the latest sign of the problems faced by French troops and U.N. peacekeepers in restoring security in a West African state that has battled rebels and militants in its desert north for years.

The assault on the Radisson Blu hotel, claimed by jihadist groups Al Mourabitoun and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), ended when Malian commandos stormed the building and rescued 170 people, many of them foreigners.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said two militants were killed in the commando operation.

His government increased security at strategic points around Bamako at the start of a declared 10-day state of emergency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping condemned the “cruel and savage” attack, whose dead included three Chinese executives of a state-run railway firm.

The head of a Bamako hospital told Russian television channel LifeNews that at least two Russian citizens were killed. RIA news agency said Russians were among the dead, citing Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Putin sent a telegram of condolences to Keita and said “the widest international cooperation” was needed to confront global terrorism, according to a statement by the Kremlin.

On Tuesday, Putin promised to hunt down Islamist militants responsible for blowing up a Russian airliner over Egypt on Oct. 31 as well as intensified air strikes against militants in Syria, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb had destroyed the plane, killing 224 people.

Putin and French President Francois Hollande also spoke by phone on Tuesday and agreed to boost coordination of their military actions in fighting jihadist militants in Syria.

One American and a deputy from a regional parliament in Belgium were also killed in the Bamako hotel attack, though French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was not aware of any French nationals killed.

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