The capital of Burkina Faso got here underneath a number of assaults on Friday, focusing on the French embassy, the French cultural centre and the nation’s navy headquarters, an AFP reporter and witnesses mentioned.
Witnesses mentioned 5 armed males bought out of a automotive and opened hearth on passersby earlier than heading in direction of the embassy, within the centre of the town.
An AFP reporter heard heavy exchanges of gunfire and noticed a blazing automobile, which witnesses mentioned was the automotive utilized by the assailants. Police and military items have been deployed within the space.
Different witnesses mentioned there was an explosion close to the headquarters of the Burkinabe armed forces and the French cultural centre, that are situated about half a mile from the location of the primary assault.
The French embassy confirmed that French pursuits have been underneath assault.
“Assault underneath manner at th French embassy and French Institute. Keep indoors,” it mentioned in a terse message posted on Fb.
Burkina Faso is one in all a string of fragile international locations on the southern rim of the Sahara which are battling jihadist teams.
The insurgency has induced hundreds of deaths, prompted tens of hundreds to flee their houses and dealt crippling blows to economies which are already among the many poorest on this planet.
On August 13 final 12 months, two assailants opened hearth on a restaurant on Ouagadougou’s most important avenue, killing 19 folks and wounded 21. The assault stays unclaimed.
On January 15 2016, 30 folks, together with six Canadians and 5 Europeans, have been killed in a jihadist assault on a resort and restaurant within the metropolis centre.
Responsiblity was claimed by a gaggle referred to as Al-Qaeda within the Islamic Maghreb, which is thought by its French acronym of AQMI.
France, the previous colonial energy within the Sahel area, has deployed four,000 troops and is supporting a five-country joint drive gathering Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.