• [8:32 a.m. ET] U.S. special operations forces are assisting with Friday’s hostage situation at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, a U.S. military spokesman said. “U.S. forces have helped move civilians to secured locations as Malian forces clear the hotel of hostile gunmen,” said Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command.
• [8:01 a.m. ET] A French gendarmerie tactical unit and a 10-member gendarmerie forensic team are heading to Mali to support Malian authorities, France’s Gendarmerie Nationale said Friday via Twitter. The tactical group is part of the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, also known as the GIGN, an elite paramilitary group trained in hostage rescue and counterterrorism operations.
• [7:56 a.m. ET] Turkish Airlines said at least seven of its employees were staying at the hotel Friday. Five are free, and two still were in the hotel as of early Friday afternoon, the airline said.