An intelligence official says soldiers have pursued extremists who entered a hotel in Mali's capital and hung a black jihadi flag from the roof before escaping into the neighborhood.
Modibo Naman Traore, spokesman for Mali's intelligence services, said Tuesday that the extremists who went into the Royal Hotel near the airport were not armed.
An official with the United Nations mission in Mali and a soldier with the army said three extremists had been arrested after fleeing. The U.N. official said the three were sympathizers of Ansar Dine, an extremist group linked to al-Qaida's North African branch.
The official and soldier spoke on condition of anonymity because they do not have permission to discuss the operation.
Extremists stormed a luxury hotel in Mali's capital in November 2015, killing 20 people.