Burkina Faso Attack: Operation ends at hotel; 126 freed, 3 jihadis dead

This is the first time Islamist militants have carried out an assault in the capital of Burkina Faso.

By: AFP | Ouagadougou | Updated: January 16, 2016 2:44 pm
Burkhina Faso hotel attack Burkhina Faso attack, Burkhina Faso Islamic Maghreb, In this image taken from video from AP Television, a rescued woman sits in a vehicle with bullet hole in windshield near the Splendid Hotel, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. (Source: AP)

Burkina Faso’s minister of security says 126 people have been freed and three jihadists killed in the operation against al-Qaida-linked extremists who seized a hotel in the capital.

Sixty-three hostages were rescued, 33 of them wounded, from the Burkinabe capital’s four-star Splendid hotel about two hours after the assault began and heavy gun battles were still being waged on the top floors of the hotel, popular with UN staff and foreigners.

Twenty people have been confirmed dead, but the toll could rise further as interior minister Simon Campaore told AFP that firefighters had seen 10 bodies on the terrace of a restaurant opposite the hotel.

It was not clear how many people remained trapped.

“We don’t yet have a total tally of the dead. The Burkinabe forces are still combing the hotel,” Campaore said.

He said it was unclear how many attackers were still inside the 147-room hotel.

“The assault is ongoing with the Burkinabe forces supported by French special forces,” communication minister Remis Dandjinou told AFP.

The attack comes less than two months after a jihadist hostage siege at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel in the Malian capital Bamako left 20 people dead, including 14 foreigners – an attack claimed by the same al Qaeda affiliate behind the unfolding Ouagadougou assault.

A fire raged at the main entrance of the hotel and screams could be heard from inside, while on the street outside about 10 vehicles were set alight.

The head of the city’s main hospital confirmed prior to the start of the counter-assault at least 20 people had been killed and another 15 injured.

A restaurant opposite the hotel was also attacked and a staff member, reached by telephone, said several people had been killed, but was not able to give an exact toll.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was “revenge against France and the disbelieving West”, according to US-based monitoring group SITE.

Burkhina Faso hotel attack Burkhina Faso attack, Burkhina Faso Islamic Maghreb,

In this grab taken from video by Associate Press Television, the scene of an attack on a hotel, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Source: AP)

The “mujahideen brothers” of AQIM “broke into a restaurant of one of the biggest hotels in the capital of Burkina Faso, and are now entrenched and the clashes are continuing with the enemies of the religion”, SITE quoted the group as saying.

The attackers were members of the Al-Murabitoun group based in Mali and run by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, SITE said.

An AFP reporter at one point saw three men clad in turbans firing at the scene on Avenue Kwame Nkrumah, one of Ouagadougou’s main thoroughfares.

A witness also reported seeing four assailants who were of Arab or white appearance and “wearing turbans”.

The French embassy said on its website that a “terrorist attack” was underway and urged people to avoid the area. An Air France flight from Paris to Ouagadougou was diverted to neighbouring Niger.

 

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  1. T
    tyhj
    Jan 16, 2016 at 5:17 am
    Muslim Sunni following peaceful religion called Islam. Please understand for them to go to heaven they have to kill. It's a noble cause, so people understand this religion of Peace " Islam".
    Reply
    1. T
      tyhj
      Jan 16, 2016 at 5:13 am
      Time to close down all Madraasa . This is the place were Terrorism breeds. Pseudo secularists may differ from the thought. But remember when terrorist strike they don't even spare the pseudo secularists.
      Reply
      1. G
        Guru
        Jan 16, 2016 at 8:51 am
        Breakfast discussion at Aaamir Khans house Dear Aamir Darling,Your co religionists are at it again,this time at burkina faso,Am really concerned Where can we bing up our children away from your co religionists Kiran Ammair Khan
        Reply
        1. R
          rahul mayank
          Jan 16, 2016 at 5:10 am
          Religion of peace strikes again.. .only preaching peace !! twenty people died because they had overdose of peace.
          Reply
          1. A
            anandap
            Jan 16, 2016 at 4:04 am
            Due to corrupt regimes after colonialism and imperialism most Arab and african countries became autocratic dynasty rulers control to loot all wealth, which has been challenged by isolated minority democratic forces (who were mercilessly suppressed by regimes), are now replaced by deadly fanatic Islamists.
            Reply
            1. M
              Me Marathi
              Jan 16, 2016 at 4:56 am
              B@stard islamic jihadi sc*ms are a blot on the planet. Should make their life a h$$ll and evaporate this filthy cult all together !!
              Reply
              1. M
                Me Marathi
                Jan 16, 2016 at 5:15 am
                The world leaders now set a target. To eliminate atleast 1000 islamic jihadi b@stards daily. That alone will not solve the problem. But they should also maim, injure , inflict gautonamo style pain on their supporters and potential islamic terrorists in thousands Daily.
                Reply
                1. m
                  michelle_vedic_human
                  Jan 16, 2016 at 7:28 am
                  These christians and Muslims,----both wants to rule this world,-----both invaded India for greed,---jealousy,----now they killing each other,---one says he came out from a virgin,-----the other says his enjoying with 72 virgins,---it has become the biggest joke of this world,----in fact they both were created much after Hinduism------KARMA is now catching up with them.
                  Reply
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