17 confirmed dead in Burkina Faso’s capital

17 people have been confirmed dead and 8 others wounded in an alleged terrorist attack in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso. The armed gunmen reportedly arrived Aziz Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant popular with foreigners, on motor bikes and randomly began shooting at diners in the restaurant. The sporadic shooting began on Sunday night up until the early hours of Monday morning.

The august 13/14 attack was termed a terrorist attack by communications minister Remi Dandjinou as this is not the first of such attacks. In January 2016, a similar incidence occurred when gunmen armed with heavy weapons attacked two hotels located in the heart of Ouagadougou; Cappuccino restaurant and the Splendid Hotel, holding another nearby hotel Yibi, under siege. After a government counter attack that lasted overnight, the siege ended and security operatives released 176 hostages; 56 persons were injured while 30 others were killed, including former Swiss MPs Jean-Noël Rey and Georgie Lamon.

These upscale hotel and nearby café were targets because they are known to host diplomats and United Nations staff, the attack took place around 7:30pm local time (2:30 EST) on Friday when the diplomats and staff would already be at the venue. During the intense duel between the terrorist and the government, 4 of the terrorist were killed. The attack was confirmed as a terrorist one by the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al-Mourabitoun who took responsibility for the attack.

According to the report on Associated Press (AP), a message was posted in Arabic on the militants “Muslim Africa” Telegram account, saying its fighters “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.” Fighters who spoke by phone later “asserted the fall of many dead Crusaders,” AQIM.