Moscow: Six Russians were killed in the hotel attack in Mali, the foreign ministry in Moscow said on Saturday, saying that they worked for a cargo airline.
"Among those who died were six citizens of our country," the ministry said in a statement, citing the Russian embassy in Mali.
It said that 12 Russians - all staff of the Volga-Dnepr freight airline - were caught up in yesterday's hostage-taking in Bamako, but six were freed.
Those who died "were shot by gunmen in the restaurant literally in the first minutes of the terrorist attack on the hotel," it said.
The Russians who died are believed to have all come from the same region of Ulyanovsk, Interfax news agency reported, citing regional authorities. Their company is based in the regional capital of the same name.
Volga-Dnepr is a private charter freight airline with 17 planes, according to its website.
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned yesterday's jihadist attack in Mali in a message released by the Kremlin earlier today.
In a message to Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Putin "stressed that the inhuman crime committed in Mali's capital again confirms that terrorism knows no borders and is a real danger for the whole world," the Kremlin said in a statement.
"People of different nationalities and beliefs become its victims, and it is only possible to confront this threat with the broadest international cooperation," Putin added.