Gunmen attack French embassy and military headquarters in Burkina Faso

03 March, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Julio Duncan
  • Gunshots explosions in Burkina Faso capital

Islamic extremists opened fire on the French Embassy and army headquarters in separate attacks in Burkina Faso's capital Friday, killing at least seven soldiers, while eight of the militants were slain, a government official said.

Communications minister Remy Danjuinou confirmed that Islamic extremists attacked both the French Embassy and the Burkina Faso army headquarters in Ouagadougou.

The statement expressed the deep condolences of the UAE to the families of victims and wished quick recovery to those injured.

Plumes of black smoke could be seen above the army offices in western Ouagadougou where police and gendarmerie responded.

Security officials said about a dozen attackers were involved in the two incidents. He said one gendarme and all four attackers were killed in the operation.

Around two kilometres (1.24 miles) away the French embassy also came under attack after a van sought to break through the buildings' barrier.

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

An interministerial crisis unit was immediately set up at the headquarters of French Foreign Ministry, he said, adding that "I asked to be informed in real time of the evolution of the situation". The coordinated attacks were carried out on the national army's headquarters and the French Embassy in the capital Ouagadougou.

Moreover, the eyewitnesses claimed that the firing began at around 10 am (local time) in the morning along with an explosion in the vehicle parking of the army headquarters in the capital caused by possibly one or two auto bombs, reported The Guardian.

Barricades were erected to keep people from that area and from the French embassy and the prime minister's office in the eastern part of the city centre, where gunfire and smoke was also reported.

The ministry's website recommended that people stay off the streets and remain in a safe place.

The region is also now the home of a Burkina Faso militant figure, Malam Dicko, who has collaborated with militants across the border in Mali.

Three security sources, two in France and one in West Africa, told Agence France-Presse that at least 28 people were killed in the attack on the military headquarters alone.

The former French colony is an important regional base for French special forces, as well as an important USA ally in the fight against groups affiliated with Islamic State in West Africa.

Five countries - Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania - backed by France, launched a new taskforce previous year to tackle Islamist militants in the region, to which global donors have committed half a billion dollars.



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