At 7:00 on 20 November, at least two gunmen attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, taking 170 hostages and eventually killing 19 people. The gunmen reportedly gained access to the hotel by entering the area in a car that had diplomatic number plates, breaking into the compound by shooting the guard and forcing their way through the gate.
By 10:00, several hostages who were able to recite passages from the Quran had been released. The gunmen dug in on the seventh floor and held out against security forces in a standoff that lasted approximately seven hours before being killed by Malian and French military personnel.
This incident bears a resemblance to an earlier siege and hostage taking on 7th August in Sévaré, in which 12 people were killed. This was claimed by the Al-Mourabitoun militant group, who had also claimed responsibility for an attack in Bamako on 7 March, in which a gunman opened fire inside the La Terrasse restaurant.