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7 Canadians safe after Mali hotel siege; former Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean was to stay at hotel

WATCH: Three Canadians were among the guests trapped at a luxury Mali hotel when terrorists attacked killing 19 people. As Global National's Jackson Proskow explains, today's assault is being perceived as a new attack on French interests.

Seven Canadians are safe in Mali’s capital after an extremist group laid siege to a luxury hotel, taking some 170 people hostage. The siege at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako Friday morning left more than 20 dead.

Among those affected by the siege were parliamentary staff member, a former Quebec politician and a lawyer.

Patrice Martin, the acting deputy principal clerk in Canada’s House of Commons, was at the Radisson, the Canadian government confirmed Friday. He’s now safe.

Maxime Carrier-Légaré, a former member of Quebec’s National Assembly, and Pierre Boivin, a lawyer in Montreal, were also taken hostage.

A spokesperson for Boivin’s law firm said the firm is “extremely happy to report” he is safe.

“Both his family and friends at McCarthy Tétrault are tremendously relieved,” Hélène Sansoucy said in a statement.

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READ MORE: A week later, Parisians still in shock over deadly attack that killed 130

In an email to Global News, the Dept. of Foreign Affairs confirmed all seven Canadians identified as being affected by the Radisson Blu siege are safe but would not provide further details due to privacy concerns.

WATCH ABOVE: Mali attack leaves more than 20 dead

“We are deeply concerned by the attack at the Bamako hotel today,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and la Francaphonie, said in a joint statement released earlier in the day.

“Such indiscriminate acts of violence against innocent civilians are unacceptable and are to be condemned.”

Canada’s former governor general Michaëlle Jean was supposed to stay at the Radisson Blu this weekend, but she had not yet arrived in Mali.

Jean, who’s now secretary-general of the International Organization of the Francophonie, was to attend a the Francophone Forum on Diversity and Cultural Expressions this weekend. She was scheduled to fly into Bamako on Saturday.

“I want to condemn this new attack terrorist terror strategy, these hate attacks against freedom, against the rule of law, against peace, against stability, this scourge and this constant threat that plagues the world,” Jean said in a translated statement about the attack, which occurred one week after the deadly ISIS attacks in Paris and Beirut.

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A Mali trooper assists a hostage, centre, fleeing from the Radisson Blu hotel after gunmen attacked the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.
A Mali trooper assists a hostage, centre, fleeing from the Radisson Blu hotel after gunmen attacked the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. AP Photo/Harouna Traore
Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015.
Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images
Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015.
Malian troops take position outside the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images
In this TV image taken from Mali TV ORTM, a woman is led away by security personnel from the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday Nov. 20, 2015.
In this TV image taken from Mali TV ORTM, a woman is led away by security personnel from the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday Nov. 20, 2015. Mali TV ORTM/ AP
Malian security forces prepare to transport hostages freed from the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015.
Malian security forces prepare to transport hostages freed from the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images
Malian troops take position near the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015.
Malian troops take position near the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20, 2015. Habibou Kouyate/AFP/Getty Images
In this TV image taken from Mali TV ORTM, a member of the security forces walks past a body lying covered on the floor in the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday Nov. 20, 2015.
In this TV image taken from Mali TV ORTM, a member of the security forces walks past a body lying covered on the floor in the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday Nov. 20, 2015. Mali TV ORTM/ AP

READ MORE: Will the UN Security Council unite to fight ISIS? What would that mean for Canada?

Reports indicate the group responsible was the Mourabitounes — a splinter group of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb led by notorious terror leader Moktar Belmoktar.

A Malian military official initially said there were 10 gunmen but later Friday it wasn’t clear how many assailants took part. It also was not known if the two dead attackers were included in the UN’s count of the dead, which originally put the death toll at 27.

Malian special forces went “floor by floor” to free hostages, army Cmdr. Modibo Nama Traore told The Associated Press.

WATCH: SFU professor Andre Gerolymatos explains who carried out the attack in Bamako

The Government of Canada urges Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Mali due to the threat of terrorism and banditry.

The government specifically warns of threat of terrorism and kidnapping in northern Mali, including the ancient city of Timbuktu, and to areas bordering Mauritania and Ivory Coast.

Canadians who want to check on the safety of family and friends in Bamako can contact the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre at Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada by calling 613-996-8885 or toll-free at 1-800-387-3124 or by sending an email tosos@international.gc.ca.

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With files from Global News reporter Billy Shields and The Associated Press