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BAMAKO, Mali — A Malian military official says at least three people are confirmed dead in an attack on a hotel in the capital where more than 100 hostages are believed to be held.

Lt. Col. Diarran Kone told The Associated Press that the deaths were confirmed after gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel Friday morning.

At least 170 hostages were believed to have been taken, though some 20 were freed later in the morning and others managed to escape with the help of security forces.

The Malian military said 10 gunmen stormed the hotel shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” in Arabic before firing on the guards.

Ambulances were rushing to the hotel as a military helicopter flew overhead. The U.N. mission said it was sending security reinforcements.

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