The Latest: 4 Islamic extremists dead after embassy attack

2018-03-02 17:28
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Ouagadougou - The Latest on the attack in Burkina Faso's capital (all times local):

12: 53 

Burkina Faso's communications minister says four Islamic extremists have been killed after they attacked the French Embassy in Ouagadougou, the capital.

Communications minister Remy Danjuinou confirmed that Islamic extremists attacked both the French Embassy and the Burkina Faso army headquarters in Ouagadougou. He said it was not clear how many militants staged the assaults in both locations and others may be on the run.

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He said gunfire and explosions had subsided and people were seen leaving offices near the attacks.

Souro Sanou, an official at the hospital in the capital, said that several people have been wounded. He was not able to give further casualty details.

12:29 

French authorities are on alert and warning of gunfire in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou and telling French citizens to stay inside after an apparent Islamic extremist attack.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office says he is following the situation closely. The attack comes three months after Macron visited the former French colony.

France's foreign ministry doesn't confirm whether or not the French embassy and the French Institute in the city were targeted.

The French embassy in Ouagadougou writes on its Facebook page "there is no certainty at the moment" about the places that where targeted.

Several messages published on the foreign ministry's website and Twitter accounts urge French citizen to avoid the city center, stay off the streets and remain in a safe place.

12:10

Burkina Faso's police director general says the capital is being attacked by suspected Islamic extremists after explosions and gunfire were heard in Ouagadougou early Friday.

Jean Bosco Kienou told The Associated Press Friday "the form is that of a terrorist attack."

Gunshots became intermittent and helicopters are now flying near the French Embassy.

Heavy smoke is seen coming from the army joint chief of staff's office in Ouagadougou. Witness said loud explosions were still heard around the army headquarters.

Witnesses at the national television office which faces the French Embassy said that five people came in a pick-up truck in front of the embassy and started shooting after saying "Allahu Akhbar" and then set fire to the truck and began shooting.

Read more on:    burkina faso  |  west africa

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