At Least 13 Killed In Attacks In Burkina Faso

  • At Least 13 Killed In Attacks In Burkina Faso

At Least 13 Killed In Attacks In Burkina Faso

The choice of places by armed extremists to launch Friday's deadly raid in central Ouagadougou could not have been more audacious and brazen.Four armed attackers described by the security operatives in Burkina Faso as militants selected targets that symbolized the heart of the security establishment in the capital's dusty urban sprawls.

The Africanews correspondent in Ouagadougou reported that armed men dressed in national military uniforms were seen getting out of cars and firing.

French President Emmanuel Macron telephoned his Burkinabe counterpart Kabore to express solidarity and send his condolences to the families of the slain security force members, his office said.

The U.S. embassy in the city said on its Twitter account it advised residents to seek shelter.

The government said the attack on the military was a suicide vehicle bombing and that a planned meeting of the G5 Sahel regional anti-terrorism force may have been the target.

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.

In a separate development on Friday, the specialist United States website SITE, which monitors extremists activity, said kidnappers had released a video of a 75-year-old French hostage, Sophie Petronin, who had been abducted in northern Mali in late 2016.

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

Four out of the eight deaths that the government confirmed occurred at the Prime Minister's office while the remaining four were killed at the French Embassy.

"The US Embassy tweeted: "@Usembassyouaga has received reports of gunfire in downtown Ouagadougou. "We were really afraid" and "the traffic was dense", she said.

As a retired soldier who came to power in a military coup, Compaore had been involved in trade-offs with armed elements to stave off any chance for the kind of attacks being witnessed in Burkina Faso over the past two years. His association, Ansarul Islam, is considered a terrorist group by Burkina Faso's government. In response to the new violence in eastern Burkina Faso, troops from Burkina Faso and nearby Mali and Niger have increased patrols. Forces backed by the French military have failed to capture Dicko. Extremists are thought to be hiding in forested areas in the border region.

During the 2016 assault, security forces waited for hours before trying to intervene.