UPDATE: 6:25 p.m. EST — More than two dozen hotel guests have been rescued so far from the hotel. The Independent put the number at 32 while CNN reported 30.
In recent months, Mali has struggled against an increase in fighting Islamic militants in the northern region of the country. Many of these attacks have focused on areas that are populated by foreigners and Westerners. In late 2015, militants attacked a Radisson hotel outside of the capital city of Bamako, leaving more than 20 dead.
Earlier this month, three United Nations peacekeepers from Guinea were killed when jihadists launched an attack on a United Nations camp in the northern region of Mali. A local al Qaida affiliate in Mali claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric condemned the attack and said it "may constitute war crimes under international law."
UPDATE: 4:54 p.m. EST — Reuters reported that two casualties. One was described as a French-Gabonese individual, while details on the second have yet to be confirmed.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Embassy in Mali warned about the increased potential for threats against major public spaces and discouraged travel to the country.
"The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens of a possible increased threat of attacks against Western diplomatic missions, places of worship, and other locations in Bamako where Westerners frequent," the U.S. Embassy said. "Avoid vulnerable locations with poor security measures in place, including hotels, restaurants, and churches."
A luxury hotel near Mali's capital of Bamako was targeted Sunday by suspected jihadists, the Associated Press reported.
Le Campement Hotel, which is popular among both tourists and locals, was attacked by gunmen. The Associated Press reported hostages were taken in the hotel. Officials have reported casualties, but it is not immediately clear how many were killed or injured in the ongoing attack.
"Security forces are in place. Campement Kangaba is blocked off and an operation is underway," Security Ministry spokesman Baba Cisse told Reuters. "The situation is under control."
— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) June 18, 2017
This story is developing. Check back for updates.