The terror attack on a luxury hotel in Mali's capital Bamako ended following Malian troops stormed the hotel and finished the nine-hour jihadist seize on Friday night that left 21 killed.
The government has declared a 10-day state of emergency and 3-day national mourning for the victims.
Investigators in Mali were hunting at least three people suspected of links to the hotel seize. The Al-Murabitoun group, an Al-Qaeda affiliate led by notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, nicknamed the "uncatchable" or "Mr. Marlboro" claimed the responsibility of the terror attack on the palatial 190-room Radisson hotel, regarded as one of West Africa's best hotels, favourite with entrepreneurs, tourists and government officials across the world.
Of the dead, 19 were hostages and two gunmen. The hostages killed in the attack included several Russians, one American, three Chinese, two Belgians and a Senegalese.
Gunmen went on the rampage through the hotel, shooting in corridors and taking over 170 guests and staff as hostage. US President Barack Obama and his Russian and Chinese counterparts Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping condemned the terror attacks. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the Friday's ?horrific terrorist attack.?
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who cut short his foreign visit, rushed to Bamako and ordered the rescue mission by special forces, that included Malian troops aided by French and US soldiers. In a televised address he asserted "Terror will not win, terrorism shall not pass."
France has more than 1000 troops in Mali, its former colony, engaged in a counter-terror mission spanning five countries in Africa's restive Sahel region.
Earlier in August in another hotel seize in the central Mali town of Sevare five UN workers and four solidiers were killed. Mail has been torn apart
by unrest since the north fell under control of Jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012. Large swathes of Mali now remain lawless. ?Agencies