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06 March 2018, 02:02 | Damon Campbell
Gunfire explosion heard in Burkina Faso capital
Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore urged the public Saturday to cooperate more closely with the country's military, one day after an armed group carried out coordinated attacks on France's embassy and cultural center and on the West African country's military headquarters in the capital of Ouagadougou.
In a statement to APS news agency, spokesman for Algerian Foreign Ministry, Abdelaziz Benali Cherif, stressed that his country "firmly and unequivocally condemns terrorism under all its forms".
The statement affirmed Egypt's support for the peoples and governments of both Burkina Faso and France in combating the "terrorism phenomena".
According to AFP, quoting security sources, the twin attacks on the French embassy and the country's military headquarters Friday left dozens dead or wounded. A planned meeting of the G5 Sahel regional anti-terrorism force may have been the target of the terrorist attack. The 5,000-strong force combines troops from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania to battle extremism in the region.
Five emergency centres to treat casualties were set up in hospitals, a military barracks and at a stadium in Ouagadougou, said Col Amade Kafando, director general of Burkina Faso's army health unit.
"This is a terrorist attack, linked to a current or another terrorist movement in the Sahel. or to others who want to are destabilise or block our democratic progress", said communication minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou on Saturday morning.
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Last August, suspected extremists 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.
The embassy came under attack around 10:15 a.m. Friday, with witnesses at the nearby state TV offices telling The Associated Press that the attackers arrived in a pickup truck, shouted, "Allahu akbar!" and began shooting.
A military barrier is placed along a street leading to Burkina Faso's army headquarters in the capitalOugadougou, Burkina Faso. There was no claim of responsibility.
A message posted on Facebook by the embassy said: "Attack under way at the French embassy and French Institute".
Burkina Faso has a history of military-backed coups as well as jihadist attacks.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but previous attacks were conducted by allies of al Qaeda in reprisal for Burkina Faso's participation in a regional fight against Islamist militants.
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