14 Aug 2017

Burkina Faso restaurant attack kills 17 - reports

6:19 pm on 14 August 2017

Seventeen people have been killed and eight wounded in a "terrorist attack" in the centre of the West African capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, the government says.

Soldiers launch an operation against suspected jihadists in Burkina Faso.

Soldiers launch an operation against suspected jihadists in Burkina Faso. Photo: AFP

Three gunmen opened fire on customers seated outside a restaurant, witnesses were quoted as saying.

Security forces killed three attackers, but some people are still trapped in the building, Communication Minister Remis Dandjinou said.

A jihadist attack on a cafe nearby left 30 people dead in January last year.

Mr Dandjinou said it was unclear how many assailants had been involved.

"They are confined to one part of the building they attacked. Security and elite forces are conducting an operation," he said.

The shooting began shortly after 9pm local time on Sunday on Ouagadougou's busy Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.

The Aziz Istanbul Restaurant appears to have been at the centre of the attack.

One eyewitness told the BBC: "I saw there were multiple trucks or jeeps driving through my street, with ... local army/police officers with AK47s, deploying in front of my house.

"I heard a lot of shootings and then I was scared as hell and I went inside. I've been hearing quite a bit of shooting."

Police captain Guy Ye told Associated Press that the attackers had arrived on motorcycles and had begun shooting randomly.

A government statement quoted by the AFP news agency said: "The attack claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, and eight injured."

- BBC

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