Burkina Faso arrests likely key attack suspect: govt source

Marsha Scott
March 6, 2018

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Heavy smoke rose from the army joint chief of staff's office, where witnesses reported loud explosions.

Those killed were all security personnel, Security Minister Clement Sawadogo said during a Friday news conference in Ouagadougou.

An official source at the Foreign Ministry extended condolences to the victims, people and the government of Burkina Faso.

Othaimeen also reiterated the organization's firm rejection of all forms of terrorism and extremism, and he expressed the OIC's solidarity with the government of Burkina Faso in its efforts to counter terrorism.

Five emergency centers were set up in hospitals, a military barracks and at a stadium in Ouagadougou to treat the casualties, said Col. Amade Kafando, director general of Burkina Faso's army health department. According to witnesses, five men who are armed got out of the auto and opened fire on people passing by before they began to head towards the French Embassy.

The capial of Ouagadougou has been attacked by Islamic extremists targeting foreigners at least twice in the past few years.

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The coordinated attacks in Ouagadougou, which coincided with a meeting of regional anti-terror forces, underlined the struggle the fragile West African nation faces in containing a bloody and growing insurgency.

An attack by gunmen previous year on a restaurant in the capital left at least 18 people dead, including two attackers. Northern areas near the border with Mali have been a regular target of attacks by various extremist groups, some of them vowing to step up deadly assaults in response to the recent deployment of a regional G5 Sahel force.

A gunman who attacked the military headquarters was wearing the uniform of the national army, according to a security source.

RĂ©mi Dandjinou, Burkina Faso's minister of communication, told CNN on Friday that six attackers had been "neutralized" across the two sites.

Burkina Faso has been the target of jihadist attacks since 2015, but they had never previously been carried out with this level of organisation.

Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger's president and the current chair of the group, said Friday's attacks "will only strengthen the resolve of the G5-Sahel and its allies in the fight against terrorism".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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