Publicado: Sáb, Marcha 03, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Gunmen attack military headquarters in Burkina Faso capital

Gunmen attack military headquarters in Burkina Faso capital

Smoke could be seen rising after at least seven armed fanatics attacked France's embassy this morning in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou.

A government statement says four assailants have been "neturalised" in the unfolding attack in Burkina Faso's capital.

Communications minister Remy Danjuinou confirmed that Islamic extremists attacked both the French Embassy and the Burkina Faso army headquarters in Ouagadougou.

Speaking on state television, government spokesman Remi Dandjinou said the unidentified gunmen killed five Burkinabe soldiers and wounded around 50 others at the military headquarters.

Defense Minister Jean Claude Bouda told Reuters that three gunmen have been killed at the army's headquarters.

A French official in Paris confirmed the attacks on the embassy and army headquarters. Witness said loud explosions were still heard around the army headquarters.

The police said one member of the group, who had attempted to flee near the city's main market, was being surrounded by security forces.

France's embassy and cultural institute in Ouagadougou are no longer in danger, an aide to Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said.

The explosion rocked the compound, setting the building on fire and sending up a thick column of black smoke.

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Five emergency centers to treat casualties were set up in hospitals, a military barracks and at a stadium in Ouagadougou, said Col. Amade Kafando, director general of Burkina Faso's army health unit.

In a separate development on Friday, the specialist U.S. website SITE, which monitors jihadist activity, said kidnappers had released a video of a 75-year-old French hostage, Sophie Petronin, who had been abducted in northern Mali in late 2016. Le Drian said the damage at the embassy was relatively minor.

The latest attack, which appears to be the boldest yet, comes against a backdrop of smaller incidents around the country that have targeted the security forces, and schools and teachers as part of the militants' campaign for an education system based on the Qur'an.

The city's military headquarters and the embassy - which is also near the prime minister's office - are about one kilometre apart.

Witnesses in Ouagadougou started reporting sounds of gunfire and rocket launchers across the city shortly after 10:00 a.m. local time.

The landlocked nation of Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. He was not able to give further casualty details.

Previous year in August, suspected extremists killed at least 18 people during a raid on a restaurant in the country's capital.

A group called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility.

Five countries, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania, launched a new task force in 2017 to tackle Islamist militants in the arid Sahel region, to which global donors have committed half a billion dollars.

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