French embassy attacked in Burkina Faso

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Those killed were all security personnel, Security Minister Clement Sawadogo said during a Friday news conference in Ouagadougou.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said damage to the embassy was minor, and the mission would be able to resume normal operations "in two or three days".

Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation in West Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. It shares a northern border with Mali, which has long battled Islamic extremists. The Secretary-General renews his call for an urgent and concerted effort by the worldwide community in support of the countries in the region to tackle, in a holistic manner, the peace and security, development and humanitarian challenges affecting the Sahel, including through the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and the full operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

Five emergency centres were set up in hospitals, a military barracks and at a stadium in Ouagadougou to treat the casualties, said Col. Amade Kafando, director general of Burkina Faso's army health unit. According to witnesses, five men who are armed got out of the vehicle and opened fire on people passing by before they began to head towards the French Embassy.

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About 85 people were wounded and at least six attackers died.

Its members "expressed their solidarity with Burkina Faso in its fight against terrorism and stressed the need to intensify regional and worldwide efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism, which may be conducive to terrorism". In January 2016, Islamic extremists attacked another cafe popular with foreigners, killing 30 people. Forces backed by the French military have failed to capture Dicko. But experts say the terror threat in Burkina Faso is increasingly homegrown.

Rémi Dandjinou, Burkina Faso's minister of communication, told CNN on Friday that six attackers had been "neutralized" across the two sites.

The government said the attack on the military headquarters was a suicide auto bombing and that a regional antiterrorism meeting may have been the intended target. The 5,000-member force combines troops from Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania, with France leading the efforts to bring in global funding.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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