BAMAKO, Mali, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Malian authorities on Sunday were searching for three suspects in connection with a terrorist attack at a hotel in the capital last week.
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and an affiliate group known as al-Murabitoun claimed responsibility for the attack in Bamako on Friday, according to the BBC.
Gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu hotel, taking more than 100 hostages and killing at least 19 people, including a U.S. citizen, six Russians, three Chinese nationals, two Belgians and an Israeli.
Malian, U.S. and French security forces ended the day-long siege, killing at least two militants. The exact number of gunmen involved in the attack is unknown, with initial reports ranging from two to more than a dozen.
It is also unclear whether the three suspects in question were accomplices or directly involved in the attack.
U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price on Friday said the United States condemned the incident and was "prepared to assist the Malian government in the coming days as it investigates this tragic terrorist attack."
French President Francois Hollande on Friday pledged "necessary support" to the former French colony, whose porous borders and vast unoccupied areas have allowed Islamic jihadists to infiltrate and plan attacks.
France's military deployed in early 2013 to battle al-Qaida militants who threatened to march on Bamako after capturing much of northern Mali. A United Nations force took over later that year after most towns in the north were secured.
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced a 10-day state of emergency Friday but said the country would not close its borders.
"Mali is not and will never be a closed border zone. Paris isn't, Geneva isn't, New York isn't, Moscow isn't," the BBC quoted him as saying.
The Bamako hotel assault came exactly one week after at least 130 people were killed in Paris, France, during coordinated terrorist attacks that were later claimed by the Islamic State.