Burkina Faso: Army headquarters and French embassy attacked
At least 16 people, including eight attackers, killed in the coordinated assaults in the West African country’s capital.
At least 16 people, including eight gunmen, have been killed in coordinated attacks on the French embassy and army headquarters in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.
Witnesses say masked attackers used guns and explosives during the Friday’s assault.
At least eight assailants and eight security personnel were killed, the military said. Officials also said that more than 80 people, including civilians, were wounded.
The national police force confirmed that Friday’s attacks occurred in an area near the prime minister’s office and the United Nations roundabout. An attack also occurred at the French embassy, officials said.
The embassy came under attack around 10:15 GMT. A military police officer and four attackers were killed, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a televised address.
The second attack occurred when fighters opened fire on the army headquarters on the other side of town. Explosions could be heard, according to witnesses, and smoke was seen above some of the buildings.
“There was so much gunfire, damage everywhere,” one witness said.
“Two policemen went by near the army headquarters,” he added.
“There was a car with around four to six people. They opened fire, there was an explosion, we saw a lot of shots fired and a lot of smoke and then people started running.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Jean-Marc Chataigner, France’s ambassador to the Sahel, described the incident on Twitter as a “terrorist attack”.
“Solidarity with colleagues and friends in Burkina Faso,” he said.
Burkina Faso is one of a number of countries in the Sahel battling armed groups in the region.
Last month, the European Union announced it would double its funding for the G5 Sahel military force, which aims at combating armed groups across the region.
The force is made up of soldiers from Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad.
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