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Obama: Mali Hotel Attack 'Stiffens Our Resolve' Against Terrorism

by Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the attack on a hotel in Mali that killed at least 20 people, and said the bloody siege is a reminder of the "scourge" of terrorism.

"Like the heinous attacks we saw in Paris, and attacks we see all too often elsewhere, this is another awful reminder that the scourge of terrorism threatens so many of our nations," Obama said, speaking in Kuala Lumpur Saturday morning local time.

"This barbarity only stiffens our resolve to meet this challenge," Obama said.

Gunmen wielding AK-47s and grenades stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital Friday, taking over a hundred hostages before they were freed in an assault by government forces.

At least 20 people were killed, a United Nations spokesman said. An American woman was among the civilians killed, the State Department confirmed. Two attackers were also killed.

Obama offered the condolences of the American people to the victims' families.

"These were innocent people who had everything to live for, and they will be remembered for the joy and love that they brought to the world," Obama said.

Related: U.S. Had Mali Terror in Crosshairs Before Siege

An al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group claimed credit for the attack, Reuters reported.

"With allies and partners, the United States will be relentless against those who target our citizens," Obama said. "We will not allow these killers to have a safe haven," he said.

The government of Mali declared a 10-day state of emergency and a three-day mourning period for those killed, according to Mali state television.

"We will stand with the people of Mali as they work to rid their country of terrorists and strengthen their democracy," Obama said.

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