Seven killed, around 50 wounded in Burkina Faso attack -govt spox

04 March, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Miranda Cannon
  • Smoke rises in the background in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso in this image taken from video Friday

More than 64 persons are reportedly injured in the attacks which were launched against Burkinabe Prime Minister's office, the Army Headquarters and the French Embassy, according to reports by Radio Omega, an independent broadcaster, which was monitored in Ouagadougou by PREMIUM TIMES publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi.

Most of the victims are Burkinabe soldiers who responded to coordinated attacks by gunmen in Ouagadougou Friday morning.

The ministry recommended that French residents of Ouagadougou stay confined to a safe place, suspend all travel in town and comply with instructions by local authorities.

He urged people to avoid the city centre.

Security forces struggled to contain the attacks.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for an attack on a restaurant and hotel in Ouagadougou in January 2016 in which 30 people were killed.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that Burkina Faso's security forces had received the support of the French to "reduce the threat".

The landlocked nation of Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world.

This is the third major attack in Ouagadougou in the past two years.

Seven members of the security forces have been killed, officials say, with another six people wounded.

Aristide Voundi, a milkman who was near the army headquarters when the attack occurred, told VOA, "I heard a loud noise in that area and I saw black smoke".

Among his objectives has been ending the use of French, the former colonizer's language, in regional schools.

With him gone, these trade-offs are bound to dry out, leaving those elements without any serious incentives to stop them becoming the country's destabilization force.

Five countries - Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania - launched a new task force previous year to tackle Islamist militants in the arid Sahel region, to which global donors have committed $500 million US. In response to the new violence in eastern Burkina Faso, troops from Burkina Faso and nearby Mali and Niger have increased patrols.

Paris had led by example, pledging $60 million toward operating the counterterrorism force whose tasks will also include tackling trafficking in humans, drugs and arms in a region plagued by insecurity epitomized by regular cross-border incursions.

A government source said 16 people - nine assailants and seven members of the security forces - had died, a lot of them in the attack on the military headquarters.

Associated Press writers Carley Petesch and Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.



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