• Thursday, Aug 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:53 am

Dozens dead in attacks on Burkina military HQ, French embassy

  • Published at 08:26 pm March 2nd, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:11 am March 3rd, 2018
Dozens dead in attacks on Burkina military HQ, French embassy
Twin attacks on the French embassy in Burkina Faso and the country's military headquarters Friday left dozens dead or wounded, security sources said. The apparently coordinated attacks underlined the struggle the fragile West African nation faces in containing a bloody and growing jihadist insurgency. The government said the attack on the military was a suicide car bombing, adding that a regional anti-terrorism meeting may have been the target. Eight members of the armed forces were killed by the blast and the parallel attack on the French embassy, while 80 were wounded, said Security Minister Clement Sawadogo. The minister said eight attackers had been shot dead. "The vehicle was packed with explosives" and caused "huge damage", Sawadogo said, adding that it was a "suicide" attack. Three security sources, two in France and one in West Africa, told AFP that at least 28 people were killed in the attack on the military HQ alone. French government sources said there were no French casualties and described the situation in Ouagadougou as "under control". [caption id="attachment_250097" align="aligncenter" width="800"] People watch as black smoke rises as the capital of Burkina Faso came under multiple attacks on March 2, 2018 AFP PHOTO / Ahmed OUOBA[/caption] "Our country was once again the target of dark forces," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement. The violence began mid-morning when heavy gunfire broke out in the centre of the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. Witnesses said five armed men got out of a car and opened fire on passersby before heading towards the French embassy. At the same time, the bomb went off near the headquarters of the Burkinabe armed forces and the French cultural centre, about a kilometre (half a mile) from the site of the first attack, other witnesses said. Sawadogo said a meeting of the G5 Sahel regional counter-terrorism force was supposed to have been held at the headquarters but had been moved to another room. "Perhaps it was the target. We do not know at the moment. In any case the room was literally destroyed by the explosion," said Sawadogo.

'Overtones of terrorism'

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Burkina Information Minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou said the attack "has strong overtones of terrorism". Burkina Faso has a history of military-backed coups as well as of jihadist attacks. The insurgency has caused thousands of deaths, prompted tens of thousands to flee their homes and dealt crippling blows to economies that are already among the poorest in the world. On August 13 last year, two assailants opened fire on a restaurant on Ouagadougou's main avenue, killing 19 people and wounding 21. No one has so far claimed responsibility. On January 15 2016, 30 people, including six Canadians and five Europeans, were killed in a jihadist attack on a hotel and restaurant in the city centre. That attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Murabitoun group, which was led by one-eyed Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar. A group called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) also said some of its militants were involved.
50
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail