• Thursday, Oct 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:15 am

Burkina Faso hotel siege 'over'

  • Published at 02:42 am January 16th, 2016

At least 23 people of 18 different nationalities are now known to have died after Islamist militants attacked a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso.

Al-Qaeda militants attacked the Splendid Hotel in the West African state's capital, Ouagadougou, as well as a cafe and another hotel nearby.

Four of the attackers were killed, two of them reportedly women.

The siege at the Splendid was declared over after a joint operation by local and French security forces.

The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militant group has announced that it carried out the attack.

Bukinabe President Roch Kabore, who arrived at the scene on Saturday morning amid right security, announced the death toll and the liberation of at least 150 hostages.

French President Francois Hollande condemned the "odious" attack on the capital of the former French colony.

In November, an AQIM attack on a hotel in the Malian capital Bamako left 19 people dead.

In another development, two Austrian citizens, a doctor and his wife, were kidnapped overnight in northern Burkina Faso near the border with Mali, Burkinabe officials said.

The numerous armed groups in the Sahel often take advantage of the porous borders and weak regional security to establish their violent campaigns.

A recently consolidated AQIM - since mending relations with its offshoot, the al-Murabitoun group - is keen to cement its status as the dominant jihadist group in North Africa and the Sahel, particularly with the rise of its rival, the so-called Islamic State, in the region.

AQIM made this point in its purported attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital Bamako in November. Mali has been a key theatre of operation but now its southern neighbour, Burkina Faso, is the latest victim.

Burkina Faso is only just moving on from a political crisis. Its new President, Roch Kabore, has only been in office for three weeks and already has his hands full.


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