Burkina Faso: Gun Attack Kills 18 People At Cafe

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GUNMEN have shot dead 18 people and injured others at a cafe in the centre of of the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, the government said.

At least eight foreigners and seven locals were among those killed in Sunday’s evening attack on the Aziz Istanbul cafe, the government added.

The gunmen, thought to be jihadists, fired on customers on the terrace before making their way inside.

Two attackers were killed in a siege which lasted into the morning.

President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré condemned the “cowardly terror attack”, saying the people of Burkina Faso would not give in to terrorism.

The foreigners killed include two Kuwaitis, and one each from Canada, France, Lebanon, Nigeria, Senegal and Turkey, Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Alpha Barry said. However, Canada’s foreign minister said two Canadians had died.

Three victims have not yet been identified, Mr Barry said.

A jihadist attack on a nearby cafe in January of last year killed 30 people.

There are fears that the latest attack is the work of one of the affiliates of al-Qaeda that are active in the Sahel region, the BBC’s Alex Duval Smith reports.

The shooting began shortly after 21:00 (21:00 GMT) at the cafe, popular with expatriates, on Ouagadougou’s busy Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.

Security forces launched a counter-assault at 22:15 and the shooting ended at about 05:00 on Monday.

Police captain Guy Ye told the Associated Press news agency the attackers had arrived on motorcycles and had begun shooting randomly.

One eyewitness told the BBC: “I saw there were multiple trucks or jeeps driving through my street, with… local army/police officers with AK47s, deploying in front of my house.

“I heard a lot of shootings and then I was scared as hell and I went inside. I’ve been hearing quite a bit of shooting.”

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