Obama: We are at war with Isis not Muslims

Obama has also reiterated that governments are not powerless against the militant group.

FILE: US President Barack Obama. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - US President Barack Obama says the country is not at war with any religion, adding that prejudice and discrimination will help Isis in terrorising communities.

Obama was speaking at the Asia-Pacific Summit where the urgent terrorist threat to the international community has dominated talks.

He says the US is not at war with Muslims but with Isis militants.

"That wouldn't just be betrayal of our values, it would feed Isis' propaganda. Their session which is absolute false, that we must absolutely reject that we are somehow at war with an entire religion."

Obama has also reiterated that governments are not powerless against the militant group.

He says a number of Asian countries in the coalition have been instrumental in fighting the group and that terrorism will not become a norm.

"Our friends here in Asia have been victims of terrorism and many of them are close counter terrorism partners with us. So my time here has been an opportunity to work with our partners in the Asia Pacific that are members of our coalition against Isis."

Obama also gave tribute to two American citizens who were killed in the Paris terror attacks by Isis and the deadly attack on a hotel in Mali by an al-Qaeda affiliate group.

The US president says their legacies will not be outshined by terrorists and he is adamant the coalition will defeat.

"Nohemi Gonzalez who was just 23-year-old was is Paris to pursue her dreams of designing innovations that would improve the lives of people around the world. We also remember Anita Datar, she was a veteran at a peace corp, a mother to her young son and devoted her life to helping the world's poor including women and girls in Mali."

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Meanwhile, there are reports that the death toll after siege in Mali's capital Bamako has risen to 22.

Mali security services are still searching for those responsible of the attacks.

The country declared a 10 day state of emergency and entered into a three-day mourning period.