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US condemns ‘brutal' attacks in West Africa

US condemns ‘brutal' attacks in West Africa
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The White House on Friday issued a statement condemning a series of "brutal" attacks in West Africa, including the kidnapping of more than 100 schoolgirls and murder of aid workers in Nigeria.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered the Trump administration's "deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed" and expressed resolve to hold violent extremists responsible.

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"These attacks only strengthen the resolve of the United States and responsible nations to pursue, destroy, and rid the world of those who commit such heinous acts," Sanders said.

The Trump administration's statement mentioned a terrorist attack Friday in Burkina Faso by armed Islamist militants, which led to the deaths of at least eight members of local security forces. Eight militants were also reportedly killed.

Other attacks in the region, which have occurred over the past month, include the abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Nigeria on Feb. 19, and Wednesday's attack that killed four United Nations peacekeepers in Mali.

The militants' targets Friday in Burkina Faso included military headquarters and the French Embassy.

The State Department issued a travel advisory Friday, urging Americans to avoid traveling to the country.

“Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso,” the State Department said. “Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with little or no warning. Targets could include hotels, restaurants, police stations, customs offices, military posts, and schools.”