Islamist militants killed 19 people in an attack on a hotel in Mali yesterday before Malian commandos stormed the building and rescued 170 people, many of them foreigners. This came a week after Islamic State militants killed 129 people in coordinated attacks in Paris.
"The perpetrators of these cowardly and barbaric acts do not represent any race, religion or creed, nor should we allow them to claim to do so," Najib said in his opening speech at the ASEAN summit.
"They are terrorists and should be confronted as such, with the full force of the law”, Najib added.
Malaysia has deployed extraordinary security measures around Kuala Lumpur as leaders from 18 countries, including US President Barack Obama, arrived for a pair of weekend summits.  
Obama said on Saturday the Mali hotel attacks only stiffened the resolve of the United States and its allies, which would be relentless in fighting those targeting its citizens and would allow militants no safe haven.
"With allies and partners, the United States will be relentless to those who target our citizens," Obama said in opening remarks to ASEAN business executives. "We will continue to root out terrorist networks. We will not allow these killers to have a safe haven”, he added.

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