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US Embassy in Mali Allows Departure of Staff Due to Terrorist Threat

The US Department of State announced that the United States permitted a voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency staff from its embassy in Mali because of the continued terrorist threat throughout the country.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States permitted a voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency staff from its embassy in Mali because of the continued terrorist threat in the country, the US Department of State announced in a Travel Warning.

"[T]he Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency personnel from the US Embassy in Bamako," the Travel Warning stated on Tuesday. "The security environment in Mali remains fluid and the potential for attacks throughout the country, including in Bamako, remains."

The State Department urged US citizens in Mali to consider leaving the country, and noted that the US embassy will provide only emergency consular services in the foreseeable future.

The body of a victim in front of the Radisson Blu hotel after an attack by gunmen on the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 - Sputnik International
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US nationals who decide to stay in Mali are urged to remain vigilant and avoid public gathering and locations.

On November 20, armed militants took 170 people hostage at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako. Malian and UN security freed the hostages, but at least 19 people, including six crew members of Russia's cargo carrier Volga-Dnepr Airlines, were killed.

A number of insurgent groups have claimed responsibility for the violence, including the al-Murabitoun group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

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