Karen Parrish at the American Forces Press Service offers the below piece:
"The United States strongly condemns these kinds of terrorist acts," the secretary said during a previously scheduled discussion here with Italian media and reporters traveling with him. "It is a very serious matter when Americans are taken hostage, along with others."
Panetta noted he has spoken with European government and defense leaders thus far in Portugal, Spain and now Italy about the way ahead in Mali.
Note: The above photo show Leon Panetta arriving in Rome. The DOD photo was taken by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.