Official: 4 rescued from Mali hotel; 9 killed in attack

The shootout killed nine people plus three attackers, in a rare attack far from the jihadists' northern strongholds, Mali's defense ministry adviser said.

The four rescued U.N. employees were two South Africans, a Russian and Ukraine, said U.N. mission in Mali spokeswoman Radhia Achouri.

Hostages held in Mali hotel after jihadist attack kills 7

Mali's army continued to surround the Hotel Byblos in Sevare north of Bamako, battling militants into the evening.

Officials said at least two extremists and five soldiers had been killed. The government said forces detained seven suspected militants.

Lt. Col. Diarran Kone earlier said a U.N. peacekeeper was also killed. It was unclear if the peacekeeper was included in the death toll. He said that at least six people were being held inside the hotel.

Mali: 10 soldiers killed in attack on army camp in north

The attackers came on motorcycles around 5 a.m. into Gourma-Rharouss, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of of the northern city of Timbuktu, said resident Moussa Cisse.

"They killed 10 soldiers, including a lieutenant. They burned two Malian army vehicles before leaving the village," he said.

A soldier said the men cried out "Allahu Akbar" as they left. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press.