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 in Paris, and attacks we see all too often elsewhere, this is another reminder of the scourge of terrorism,” Obama said, speaking in Kuala Lumpur.“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, including an American, a United Nations spokesman said. 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 will be remembered for the joy and love they brought to world,” Obama said.
An al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group claimed credit for the attack, Reuters reported.
“With our allies and partners, the U.S. will be relentless against those who target our citizens,” Obama said. “We will not allow these killers to have 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 Mali as they work to rebuild,” Obama said.