An elite French unit of paramilitary police specialised in hostage situations left for Mali on Friday where suspected jihadists stormed an upmarket hotel, the interior ministry said.
Around 40 paramilitary police from the GIGN unit were on their way to assist Malian security forces dealing with a hostage situation at the Radisson Blu hotel, said a ministry spokesman.
The Twitter account of the paramilitary police posted a black-and-white image of the heavily-armed, black-clad troops upon their departure.
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