Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022 | Last Update : 08:15 PM IST

  26 killed in siege at Burkina Faso hotel

26 killed in siege at Burkina Faso hotel

AFP
Published : Jan 17, 2016, 3:34 am IST
Updated : Jan 17, 2016, 3:34 am IST

At least 26 people from 18 countries were killed in an attack by jihadist gunmen on a top hotel and a restaurant in the capital of Burkina Fa-so, before security forc-es ended the siege on Saturday an

Members of a French medical aid group tend to a wounded man during the Al Qaeda siege in Burkina Faso .  (Photo: AFP)
 Members of a French medical aid group tend to a wounded man during the Al Qaeda siege in Burkina Faso . (Photo: AFP)

At least 26 people from 18 countries were killed in an attack by jihadist gunmen on a top hotel and a restaurant in the capital of Burkina Fa-so, before security forc-es ended the siege on Saturday and killed four assailants.

A total of 126 people were freed, including 33 wounded, from the four-star Splendid hotel, popular with Wester-ners and UN personnel, after security forces retook the 147-room facility and the Cappu-ccino restaurant nearby in the early hours of Saturday, interior minister Simon Compaore said.

 

The jihadists’ assault had been completely cr-ushed by midday Satu-rday, a security source said. Four jihadists, inc-luding two women, were killed in the counter-assault. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was “revenge against France and the disbelieving West”, acc-ording to a statement carried by US-based monitoring group SITE.

The attackers were members of the Al-Mur-abitoun group based in Mali and run by Mok-htar Belmokhtar, SITE said. The security sour-ce said at least 26 people from 18 countries were killed in the jihadists’ assaults, adding that the toll could yet rise.

Aside from the four jihadists killed, a fifth attacker could be seen rushing into a nearby bar, according to witnesses who managed to escape.

 

Mr Compaore said earlier that firefighters had seen 10 bodies on the terrace of the rest-aurant. A total of “126 people, including at least 33 wounded, have been freed. Three jih-adists — an Arab and two black Africans — have been killed,” Mr Compaore said.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who took office in December, visited the hotel on Saturday but made no immediate comment.

Communication ministery said the counter-assault was carried out by Burkinabe troops with the support of Fre-nch special forces. He also said that among those who escaped unh-armed was labour minister Clement Sawado-go. French President Francois Hollande in a statement condemned the “odious and cowardly attack”.

 

With Ouagadougou airport closed because of the attack, and an Air France flight from Paris to Ouagadougou was diverted to neighbouring Niger.

A US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington could provide drone-based surveillance.

Meanwhile, security ministry said on Satu-rday two Austrian citizens, a doctor and his wife, were kidnapped overnight in northern Burkina Faso near the border with Mali. It was not immediately clear whether the abduction was linked to the Al Qaeda attack.

Meanwhile, the United States was checking on the safety of its citizens in Burkina Faso on Saturday after the attack.

With soldiers still hunting for surviving attackers, a spokesman for the state department said all the US ambassador’s staff were accounted for.

 

Location: Burkina Faso, Kadiogo, Ouagadougou