Burkina Faso: “terrorist attack” in Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso hotel siege declared over
The center of the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, is the theater, from the evening of Friday, January 15, a terrorist attack, claimed by Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The assailants, whose number is uncertain, are holed up with hostages on the upper floors of the Splendid hotel after having strafed the terraces of restaurants around. The nationality of victims and hostages has yet not been specified, no more than the number of hostages that could be found within the hotel.
9 to 30 pm (Eastern time Paris) Ministry of Burkinabe inside, Simon Compaoré, said the attacks were over the Splendid and Cappuccino restaurant, but another assault was underway Hotel Yibi, located opposite the Splendid. The interior minister said that “126 people, including at least 33 injured, were released and 3 djihadstes killed”.
- Assault and French special forces
According to a journalist for Agence France-Presse (AFP), heavy gunfire began to be heard Saturday around 5 pm local time (6:00 in Paris).Exchanges of fire were heard between security forces and jihadi cappuccino at the coffee shop. Previously, exchanges of gunfire were sporadic.
Saturday morning, Francois Hollande denounced the “heinous and cowardly attack that hit Ouagadougou”. “The French forces provide support to Burkinaforces”. French special forces backed by US military, said an official in Washington, quoted by AP.
The Pentagon also confirmed the support of the United States: “France has demanded immediate support ISR (aerial surveillance, often provided bydrones) and we are in the process of putting in place”, detailed a responsible the defense.
An HQ was established near the facility to coordinate operations. Electricity in the vicinity of the place was cut. In the early hours of Saturday, several people said that the hotel lobby was on fire and that screams could beheard. The origin of the fire was not known at this stage.
- Strafing terraces and hostage-taking at the Splendid
The attackers strafed the Taxi Brousse and Cappuccino and burned vehicles that exploded before retrench in the Splendid Hotel, the lobby was later partially taken fire. Security checks were in place at the entrance, but could not prevent the outbreak of the attackers to 19 h 45, when gunfire and explosions erupted.
One witness interviewed by Le Monde has reported that three masked men broke into in the early evening in the hotel compound, located on Avenue Kwame Nkrumah one of the main arteries of the city. Splendid, which has 147 rooms, is frequently used by Westerners and the UN agency staff.
The exact number of people present during the attack was not disclosed, but according to our information, the place would be crowded: a reception of the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA ) took place there. The Minister of Public Service was in the hotel. It has been released.
“It’s horrible, people were lying and there was blood everywhere. They were shooting at people at close range “, explained one of the hotel’s survivors.”You could hear the talking and they walked around people and were still firing on people who were not dead. And when they came out, they put fire “,he added.
- Bilan difficult to assess
Thirty people were able to get out “unharmed” of the Hotel Splendid and 33 wounded were evacuated during the storm still being Burkinabe forces, told AFP the Minister of Rémis Dandjinou communication. Among the thirty uninjured face the Burkinabe Minister of Labour, Clément Sawadogo, present at the hotel at the time of the attack, said Mr. Dandjinou.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, Alpha Barry said there were“victims” in the attack of the Splendid and the employee of one of the cafes quoted by Agence France-Presse speaks of “many dead” in both restaurants.
The director of the main hospital in Ouagadougou has reported a first global assessment of at least “twenty dead”. He cited a hurt that there were among the dead “more whites than blacks”. The interior minister burkinais reported at least ten dead on the café terrace restaurant Cappuccino, located opposite the Hotel Splendid.
Saturday morning, the interior minister said that 126 people had been released, including 33 injured and 3 jihadists were killed.
- AQIM claim
The independent news agency Alakhbar wrote that a member of AQIM have him, for his part, said that “thirty crusaders” had been killed. AQIM claimed responsibility for the attack Ouagadougou, stating that the attack was conducted by the jihadist group Al-Mourabitoune.
This attack comes just under two months after that of the Radisson Blu inBamako, in Mali. Twenty-one people were killed in a hostage situation claimed by the same movement, Al-Mourabitoune, led by the Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
Shortly after the first shots, the ambassador of France in Burkina Faso,Gilles Thibault, spoke about her Twitter a “terrorist attack” and announced the opening of a crisis.
The curfew, set up in the country in mid-September following a coup, has been extended from 11 p.m. to 6:00. So far, it was effective to rely 1 hour.
- Burkina hitherto spared
The event is unique in the Burkinabe capital, even if the country, member of the “G5 Sahel”, devoted in particular to the fight against terrorism and“permanent fulcrum” of barkhane French operation, has been the target of operations jihadists.
The army of the country has also stated in the Friday night that the north of the territory, near the border with Mali, had been the target of a first attack in the day. “At around 2:00 p.m. (local, 15 hours in Paris), a score of individuals unidentified heavily armed és perpetrated an attack against the mission commissioned gendarmes in the village of Tin Abao. “
The “interim balance sheet” is “two dead, a policeman and a civilian and two policemen wounded, including a severe”. The attackers are on the run and actively sought.
In Paris, the Foreign Ministry gave details on the number of French in the country: they are 3915 to be registered of which 3034 in Ouagadougou, said Romain Nadal, spokesman of the ministry, on Twitter.