Govt spokesman: Seven killed, around 50 wounded in Burkina Faso attack

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Smoke rises from the site of an armed attack in downtown Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Picture: Anne Mimault/Reuters
Smoke rises from the site of an armed attack in downtown Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Picture: Anne Mimault/Reuters

Unidentified assailants killed five people and wounded around 50 others during an attack on Burkina Faso’s military headquarters in the capital Ouagadougou on Friday, said government spokesman Remi Dandjinou.

Speaking on state television, he said that two paramilitary gendarmes were also killed defending the French embassy, which also came under attack.

Burkina Faso’s government says four attackers had been killed at the embassy and at least two others at the military headquarters.

It is unclear who is behind the attack but Burkina Faso Information Minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou told state TV it had “strong overtones of terrorism”.

Ouagadougou has suffered two major attacks by Islamist militants in the past two years.

A failed coup also took place in 2015. The trial for dozens of the alleged perpetrators began earlier this week but was suspended after defense lawyers walked out in protest against the military court.

Burkina Faso is one of a number of countries in the Sahel – an area traversing Central and West Africa – battling armed groups in the region.

The force is made up of soldiers from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

Last month, the European Union announced it would double  funding for the G5 Sahel military force, which aims at figthing armed groups across the region.

 

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