Mali hotel ?a victory over violence?
Mali?s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita hailed the reopening of the luxury hotel at the centre of a deadly Islamist attack, saying it was a victory over the scourge of jihadist violence, Agence France-Presse reported.
Gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the 190-room Radisson Blu in Bamako on November 20 in a siege that left 20 people dead, most of them foreigners. The attack was later claimed by two extremist groups.
?This is a victory of life over the jihadists,? Keita said as around 100 people gathered at a reopening ceremony for the refurbished hotel.
Keita paid tribute to three slain employees and the surviving staff, vowing to tighten security in the capital and promising: ?We will continue to fight terrorism in the strongest terms.?
An official from the Ministry of Security said: ?Today we can say that the Radisson is the most secure hotel in the Malian capital.?
The pictures of the three staff killed in the attack were displayed in a reception room where the opening ceremony took place. ?We are thinking of our three comrades. We miss them. That is what hurts me,? said a waiter who gave his name as Bintou.
Staff said the hotel had already taken around 15 bookings, including for Western clients.