BREAKING: Mali Radisson Blu Hotel ‘attacked by gunmen’ in Bamako

Gunmen have launched an attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Mali’s capital, Bamako, witnesses say.

“Apparently it’s an attempt to take hostages. The police are there and are sealing off the area,” a security source told Reuters news agency.

Automatic weapon fire could be heard from outside the 190-room hotel, AFP reports.

BBC Afrique’s Abdourahmane Dia says the hotel is popular with expats working in Mali.

In August, suspected Islamist gunmen killed 13 people, including five UN workers, during a hostage siege at a hotel in the central Malian town of Sevare.