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21 Reported Dead in Mali Hotel Terrorist Attack

(CN) - A deadly hostage siege in the West African nation of Mali came to an end Friday after 21 victims reportedly lost their lives.

Armed assailants stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali's capital city of Bamako on Friday morning, according to news reports. United Nations and Malian security forces launched a counterattack and, by afternoon, attackers were the only ones believed to still be inside the hotel.

Ned Price, spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, confirmed Friday afternoon that the attack was over.

Twenty-one people were killed, the United Nations said. A Mali health official said at least six others were hospitalized.

Price called the incident a "tragic terrorist attack."

"We extend our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have been killed in this heinous attack," he said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers also are with those who have been injured. We commend the bravery of the Malian, French, United Nations, and U.S. security personnel who responded to the situation and prevented even worse loss of life."

The Radisson Blu Hotel was hosting diplomats who were working on a peace process in Mali's fight against Islamist extremists, according to a CNN report.

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack as of Friday afternoon.

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