Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Army hqtrs, French embassy under heavy attack by terrorists — BURKINA FASO

Army hqtrs, French embassy under heavy attack by terrorists — BURKINA FASO

French news agency AFP reports that the situation is under control at the embassy.

France's embassy and cultural institute in Ouagadougou are no longer in danger, an aide to Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said. The investigation will seek to determine the perpetrators and reason for the attack.

Freelance journalist Yacouba Ouédraogo, who is in Ouagadougou, told CNN the shooting had stopped and that the people who attacked the army headquarters wore Burkinabé army clothes.

Communications minister Remy Danguinou said the death toll is likely to climb. The affected area includes the Chief of Staff Headquarters.

The capital of Burkina Faso came under multiple attacks on Friday which targeted the French embassy, the French cultural centre and the country's military headquarters, an AFP reporter and witnesses said.

But there are numerous other Islamist groups based in the region and militants have carried out attacks in several major West African cities in the past few years.

The national police said in a statement that eight gunmen were killed: four at the embassy and four at the army headquarters. Local TV said the PM was safe.

Safety instructions are being sent to the French citizens in Ouagadougou. Le Drian said the damage at the embassy was relatively minor. He said it was not clear how many militants staged the assaults in both locations and others may be on the run.

In a separate development on Friday, the specialist United States website SITE, which monitors jihadist 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.

The French targets attacked are symbolic given that French President Emmanuel Macron chose to outline his Africa strategy, including the fight against militants, in Ouagadougou in November. Avoid downtown Ouagadougou. Shelter in place.

Jean Bosco Kienou told The Associated Press Friday "the form is that of a terrorist attack". Workers fled offices near the site of the violence, and helicopters were seen above the embassy.

An explosion rocked the nearby army headquarters and masked gunmen were seen attacking the entrance to the building.

Witnesses told AFP that five armed men got out of a vehicle and opened fire on passersby before heading towards the embassy in the center of the city.

The police special forces and army units were deployed to the area.

The French embassy confirmed that French interests were under attack. They also set fire to the truck, the witnesses added.

Last August, suspected extremists killed at least 18 people last August during a raid on a restaurant in Ouagadougou and militants have targeted Burkinabe security forces along its remote northern border region with Mali.

Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation in West Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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