March 24, 2018

Main » Burkina Faso attack: Ouagadougou sees gunfire and explosion

Burkina Faso attack: Ouagadougou sees gunfire and explosion

04 March 2018

Burkina Faso's communications minister says eight Islamic extremists, and seven Burkina Faso soldiers have been killed in the attacks on the French Embassy and army headquarters in Ouagadougou, the capital.

Most of the victims are Burkinabe soldiers who responded to coordinated attacks by gunmen in Ouagadougou Friday morning. In the photo from the scene shows a cloud of black smoke rising into the sky.

Burkina Faso has been rocked by insecurity since Blaise Compaore was ousted by a popular uprising in 2014.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday strongly condemned an attacks on army headquarters and the French Embassy in Burkina Faso, his spokesman said, Xinhua reported.

A government statement said four gunmen were "neutralised" at the French embassy.

Witnesses at the national television office which faces the French Embassy said that five people came in a pick-up truck in front of the embassy and started shooting after saying "Allahu Akhbar" and then set fire to the truck and began shooting.

President Emmanuel Macron's office said the French leader was "being informed in real time" of the situation.

The city's military headquarters and the embassy - which is also near the prime minister's office - are about one kilometre apart. We saw that they had set a vehicle on fire.

Several messages published on the foreign ministry's website and Twitter accounts urge French citizen to avoid the city center, stay off the streets and remain in a safe place.

Four of the suspects were killed at the embassy while at least two others were also killed at the military headquarters, Burkina Faso's Information Minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou confirmed on state TV.

French forces based in the country have also been deployed.

The northern border region near Mali is the home of a local preacher, Ibrahim Malam Dicko, who has claimed responsibility for recent deadly attacks on troops and civilians.

On January 15 2016, 30 people, including six Canadians and five Europeans, were killed in an extremists attack on a hotel and restaurant in the city centre.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but previous attacks were conducted by allies of al-Qaeda in reprisal for Burkina Faso's participation in a regional fight against Islamist militants.

Ouagadougou has suffered two major attacks by Islamist militants in the past two years.

Five countries - Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania - launched a new task force a year ago to tackle Islamist militants in the arid Sahel region, to which global donors have committed $500 million US.

Burkina Faso attack: Ouagadougou sees gunfire and explosion