Gunmen attack on Burkina Faso Army HQ killes 28 people - security forces

Friday, 2018-03-02 15:55:59
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Gunfire, explosions rock French embassy, Army HQ in Burkina capital Ouagadougou.
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A "terrorist attack" has hit Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, France's ambassador to West Africa's Sahel region said after an explosion rocked the army headquarters there and witnesses reported seeing masked gunmen attack the building.

The eight terrorists that attacked Ouagadougou have been eliminated, others might be on run, Burkina Faso's government said.

According to state TV reports, seven members of Burkina security forces and at least 21 civilians have been killed in attacks.

The Special forces are continuing operations, according to the government statement. Souro Sanou, an official at the hospital in the capital, said that several people have been wounded.

"The situation is under control at French diplomatic premises," in Burkina Faso's capital, which came under attack Friday (March 2), a French Foreign ministry source said.

An armed attack is underway in downtown Ouagadougou near the prime minister's office and UN roundabout, says the Burkina Faso Police.

Burkina Faso police director general says capital is being attacked by suspected Islamic extremists. Gunshots have been intermittent and helicopters are now flying near the embassy.

The police said security units have been deployed to the scene and have urged people to stay away from the area.

French President Macron is receiving updates on events in Burkina Faso, according to Elysee Palace.

The Embassy of Canada to Burkina Faso is also asking residents to stay away from the downtown area.

According to witnesses, five armed men got out of a car and opened fire on passersby before heading towards French embassy. Others said there was an explosion near the Burkinabe military headquarters.

Islamist militants have gained a stronger foothold in Africa's vast Sahel region over the last few years, launching attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Niger.

Suspected jihadists killed at least 18 people last August during a raid on a restaurant in Ouagadougou, and militants have targeted Burkinabe security forces along its remote northern border region with Mali.