A total of 12 people were killed and four hostages freed after Malian security forces attacked suspected Islamist gunmen who seized a hotel where United Nations staff were staying. The Byblos Hotel in the town of Sevare was under siege for nearly 24 hours. “[The siege] seems to be over and it has ended well,” Malian defense ministry spokesman Colonel Diaran Koné said. “We freed the four hostages. But unfortunately we also found three bodies at the site.” A military spokesman said the three dead hostages were from South Africa, Russia and Ukraine.