TWENTY seven people have been killed and another 33 wounded by gunshots and car bombs during a 15 hour siege by Islamic extremists on two hotels in Burkina Faso, The Sun reports. Foreigners are believed to be among the dead as security forces fought to free hostages in buildings rigged with explosives by the terrorists.
The country’s security ministry also said two Austrian citizens, a doctor and his wife, had been kidnapped in the north of the country. Masked gunmen stormed the Splendid Hotel in the capital city of Ouagadougou around 7:30pm tonight after a series of explosions. Robert Sangare, the head of Yalgado Ouedraogo hospital said: “For the dead, we do not have a precise figure, but there are at least 20 dead.
“We have had at least 15 wounded with bullet wounds and others who suffered injuries during the panic to escape.” Witnesses said the attackers have claimed to be from ISIS but terror group al-Qaeda of Islamic Maghreb have claimed responsibility for the attack according to the SITE intelligence group.
ISIS was formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq but were kicked out of the group by Osama bin Laden before he died because of their brutality and targeting of innocent people. The jihadis entered the hotel, burning cars outside had shooting into the air to force back crowds before security forces arrived at the scene.
Eyewitness Bagaré Saidou Diallo posted on Facebook: “The Jihadists were six in number approximately. “First, they set fire to the vehicles to the surroundings before entering the hotel. “They are wearing turbans and in masks. They all had beards. “They said they were acting on behalf of the Islamic State.”
He went on to say up to 150 peple may have been in the hotel at the time. The French ambassador in the country has described the incident as a “terrorist attack” as well as saying a curfew has been imposed in Ouagadougou from 11pm to 6am. Suspected Islamic extremists storm hotel in Burkina Faso
The Cappuccino restaurant opposite the hotel has also been targeted by snipers according to reports. Several cars were ablaze outside the building which is often frequented by UN staff and westerners in the city. The US embassy tweeted: “We are closely following the situation in downtown.”
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been embroiled in political turmoil since the longstanding President Blaise Compaore was ousted in 2014. Neighbouring country Mali is a hotbed of Islamic extremism with 20 people left dead following an attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in the country last November