An American citizen was one of at least 19 people killed in a terrorist attack at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, according to a U.S. State Department official.

Gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" stormed the hotel in the West African nation, taking more than 100 hostages before the Malian army was able to respond. Reports on the number of people killed have fluctuated as high as 27; the Associated Press reported 21 people were killed, including the attackers.

Officials said a Belgian citizen was also killed in the attack.

French authorities said al Qaeda member Mokhtar Belmokhtar was likely behind the attacks.

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