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An Indian-American woman is among at least 27 people killed during a deadly siege of a Mali hotel by terrorists.  27 people have been confirmed dead as a result of heavily armed attackers who sieged the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, taking more than 100 people hostage.

Anita Ashok Datar, 41, is the sole United States citizen to have been killed in the attack on Friday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

‘We mourn American Anita Datar and all those lost in Mali attacks,’ US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a tweet on Friday.

Among Datar’s survivors are her 7-year-old son. In a statement Datar’s family said that they are devastated by the news. ‘We are devastated that Anita is gone — it’s unbelievable to us that she has been killed in this senseless act of violence and terrorism,’ the family said.

“[Anita] loved her family and her work tremendously. Everything she did in her life she did to help others – as a mother, public health expert, daughter, sister and friend. And while we are angry and saddened that she has been killed, we know that she would want to promote education and healthcare to prevent violence and poverty at home and abroad, not intolerance,” the statement said.

Anita lived in Takoma Park in Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.

‘Anita was one of the kindest and most generous people we know. She loved her family and her work tremendously,’ the statement said.

American Anita Ashok Datar was originally from Massachusetts, then moved to New Jersey. The younger of two children, Datar grew up in a quiet neighborhood in the Flanders section of Mount Olive. After graduating from Mount Olive, Datar attended Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus, where in 1995 she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Datar went on to a graduate from Columbia University’s Masters program in public health. LALATE reported that Al-Mourabitoun, an African Jihadist Al Qaeda Group, claimed responsibly for the Mali Hotel attack.

Datar was the former partner of David Garten, an attorney who worked as a senior policy adviser to Clinton in the Senate, according to reports.

In a statement, Clinton said Datar “represented the best of America’s generous spirit.”

Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...