Mali terror attack

Malian security services help rescue a hostage from the hotel taken by Islamic terrorists. (AP/Harouna Traore)

Islamic terrorists murdered Shmuel Benhalal while he was in Mali on an educational mission. 

An Israeli was among the 21 hostages murdered during and Islamic terror attack on a hotel in Mali’s capital of Bamako on Friday.

Shmuel Benhalal, 60, from Tzur Hadassah near Jerusalem, was the head of an international educational consulting group and was in the African country to consult the Malian government on improving its education system when he was killed.

Another Israeli who was at the Radisson Blu hotel when Islamist terrorists stormed the building was rescued by Malian commandos along with some 170 hostages and has already left the country.

A father of three, Benhalal was a well-known Israeli educator who has consulted several governments, mostly third-world countries, on ways to improve their educational systems. This was not Ben-Halal’a first visit to Mali.

“We are shocked and hurting. We hope that all the relevant actors are working with all the means to bring him home to us as soon as possible,” his family said in a statement.

“He tried to help Third World countries, to better their education systems and give hope to young people,” Tzvi Raviv, a close frined, told Ynet. “I lost a very good friend, he was like a brother,” he added, describing him as “a man you couldn’t help but love.”

The Islamic Al Mourabitoun and the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack.

In addition to the Israeli citizen, three Chinese executives, six Russian airline employees, two Belgian nationals and one American were so far confirmed killed in the attack. Seven people were wounded in the attack. Two terrorists were killed in the rescue raid, while three escaped and are being sought by Malian forces.

By: United with Israel Staff

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