Saturday, January 16, 2016

Burkina Faso attack: Troops battle to end deadly hotel siege

Exchanges of fire are continuing at a hotel in Burkina Faso's capital as special forces seek to break a deadly siege by suspected Islamist gunmen.

Burkina Faso
Burkinabe troops are involved in the operation to secure the hotel
Some 30 hostages were freed overnight at Ouagadougou's luxury Splendid Hotel but there are fears that at least 20 people were killed.

Gunmen stormed the hotel and a nearby cafe after setting off bombs.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has said it carried out the attack in the West African nation, monitors said.

French President Francois Hollande - whose forces are part of the operation against the militants - condemned the "odious and cowardly attack".
Remi Dandjinou, the Burkinabe communications minister, told the BBC there were between six and seven gunmen and they had been staying at the hotel.

He also said a member of the government, Minister of Public Works Clement Sawadogo, was among those freed at the hotel.

Thirty-three people were in hospital receiving treatment, he added.

French special forces and Burkinabe troops have been deployed at the hotel, which is used by UN staff and Westerners.
French and US soldiers gather before launching a counter-assault on Islamist gunmen at the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou
French and US troops are also taking part

Hospital chief Robert Sangare quoted survivors as saying at least 20 people had died in the initial attack, before the security forces began their assault on the hotel.

Interior Minister Simon Compaore said 10 bodies had been found on the terrace of the nearby Cappuccino cafe.


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