Canadian hostages rescued
Two Canadians have been rescued after being taken hostage by gunmen during the attack on an upscale hotel in Mali.
The Star has confirmed that Maxime Carrier-Légaré was one of the hostages released without harm from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako on Friday morning.
Carrier-Légaré is an employee of the Quebec legislature, representing it at the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) in Paris.
“Our colleague is safe,” Noémie Cimon-Mattar, spokesperson for the Quebec National Assembly, told the Star.
Carrier-Légaré was in Bamako to take part in an APF training seminar for Malian diplomats, Cimon-Mattar said.
Montreal’s La Presse newspaper also reported that another Canadian, Patrice Martin, was also safe. He was among the first hostages to be evacuated from the hotel.
Martin is a clerk in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, his LinkedIn profile shows. He also previously served as a municipal councillor in Gatineau and as the former head of the Société de Transports de l’Outaouais.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada released a statement Friday stating that all Canadians known to be at the hotel are safe and are receiving assistance. The Canadian Embassy in Bamako advised Canadians to “remain vigilant and monitor local media.”
On Friday morning, the France 24 TV network interviewed a hostage who spoke French with a Québécois accent as he was being led out of the hotel in Bamako.
“We were just evacuated by the hotel’s security services. I know there are many people inside right now. I saw bodies in the lobby. What happened this morning at the hotel is pretty horrible.”
The Star has not been able to confirm the identity of the man.
“I was hiding in my room,” he continued. “They told us to get out. They broke down my door. The security forces arrived.
“I salute their courage and their work.”