Foreigners Shot Dead At Burkina Faso Luxury Hotel


Foreigners shot dead at Burkina Faso luxury hotel-800x566



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 said it carried out the attack.

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

The French Ambassador, Gilles Thibault, gave a higher death toll of 27 and denied any women were among the militants killed at the hotel.

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.

Militants attacked the Splendid and the nearby Cappuccino cafe on Friday evening, setting off several explosions. Both places are popular with UN staff and foreigners.


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Survivors described how the militants went from person to person, touching their bodies to see if they moved.

“They started shooting, shooting, and everybody lay down on the ground,” said Mariette, who escaped from the hotel with her younger sister.

“As soon as you lifted your head they would shoot straightaway, so you had to pretend to be dead. And they even came to touch our feet to check if we were alive. As soon as you were alive, they would shoot at you.”

Interior Minister Simon Compaore said 10 bodies had been found on the cafe terrace alone. He added that at least 33 hostages had been injured.

As the end of the siege at the Splendid was being announced, reports came in that militants had taken up position at the Yibi hotel, a short distance away. One attacker was killed at the Yibi, officials said later.

Remi Dandjinou, the Burkinabe communications minister, told the BBC earlier that between six and seven militants had attacked the Splendid, adding that they had been staying at the hotel as guests.

Interior Minister Compaore said two black Africans and an Arab were among the militants killed.

Burkina Faso recently held its first presidential election since a coup earlier last year.

That coup toppled long-time leader Blaise Compaore, who had governed for 27 years.

bbc


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