Shmuel Ben Hillel
Shmuel Ben HillelCourtesy of the family

Shmuel Ben Hillel, a 58-year-old man from Tzur Hadassah, was killed in Friday's attack on a hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako. He leaves behind his wife and their three children.

The bereaved family has released a statement, reading: "We are shocked and grieving. We hope that all of the relevant parties are using all the means at their disposal in order to bring him back to us quickly."

Ben Hillel was the CEO of the Telos consulting company that focuses on education and social issues, and he was in Mali on a business trip. He served as the senior advisor to governments in eastern Europe, Latin America, and southeastern Asia. Prior to this, he worked at developing Jewish education and ran a school in Mexico.

Twenty-one people were killed in the attack, including a US citizen as well as Russians and Chinese. The Mali government has declared a state of emergency to last for ten days, and an official state of mourning for three days. It is believed that another Israeli citizen was present in Mali at the time and escaped unharmed.

Muslims terrorists attacked the Radisson Blu Hotel on Friday and took 170 people hostage. According to reports from workers, the attackers shouted "Allah Akhbar" while firing and throwing grenades. A joint operation involving US, French, and local special forces soldiers freed about 80 of the hostages.