Cypriot escapes Mali hotel attack safely

21 November 2015
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Cypriot national Michael Skapoullis, from Nicosia, was at the Radisson hotel in Bamako, Mali during the hostage situation on Friday. Finding his way to safety, Skapoullis spoke to BBC reporters at the scene, describing his ordeal.

Skapoullis lives in Bamako, and regularly attends the gym at the hotel in which the hostage situation took place. He told reporters: “I go to the gym from 6 to 8am, and usually I see the same people doing their workout.” Skapoullis said that this Friday was different, however, as only two others were in the gym, when usually there are more. He added that the two others left at approximately 7:30am.

Saying that he had heard nothing of the situation above due to the music playing in the gym, Skapoullis said, “I left from the gym and tried to go into the lobby from the back door from the swimming pool side.” At this point, he added, he saw bullets on the floor as he opened the door.

He then decided to go “wall-to-wall” to an alternative exit, he added, and thus made it out safely. On his exit, he told reporters that he saw police and special forces, who walked him home.

Reporters asked him if he saw anyone else escape, and Skapoullis replied that he didn’t know, and that he had been alone in the gym.

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