Six Americans in the Mali hotel that was attacked by terrorists Friday made it out alive, U.S. defense officials told NBC News, while two U.S. Special Operations troops helped with the hostage rescue effort.
"U.S. forces have helped move civilians to secure locations, as Malian forces work to clear the hotel of hostile gunmen," Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo said.
An American was killed in the attack, a State Department official said.
Nineteen civilians and one member of the Malian security services were killed during the siege, United Nations spokesman Olivier Salgado told NBC News. Two attackers were also killed, the spokesman said.
The Pentagon did not release the names of the Americans who were at the Radisson Blu. The State Department said about a dozen people were rescued during the attack.
The U.S. soldiers were thrust into the unfolding drama after gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great," stormed the hotel, killing several people and taking dozens of hostages.
The raid on the hotel, which is popular with foreigners and used by airline crews, comes a week after attackers killed 130 people in Paris.
In response, France announced the immediate dispatch of 50 elite counter-terrorism police to their former colony.