The hotel is regularly used by tourists and airline crews including Air France.
The Daily Mail reports that “Automatic weapons fire has been heard on the seventh floor of the 190-room hotel, where it is thought as many as 12 militants have taken 140 guests and 30 members of staff hostage.”
A small number of hostages who were able to successfully recite parts of the Koran have been released.
Malian Police and Military are on the scene.
No groups have claimed responsibility for the attack.