United Nations Condemns Burkina Faso Terrorist Attacks

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - Islamic extremists opened fire on the French Embassy and army headquarters in Burkina Faso's capital Friday, killing at least seven soldiers, while eight of the militants were slain, a government official said.

The UN Security Council issued a statement condemning "in the strongest terms the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attacks" in Ouagadougou. Witnesses at the nearby state TV offices told The Associated Press that the attackers had arrived in a pickup truck, shouted, "Allahu akhbar!" and began shooting.

The French Foreign Ministry later said the situation near the embassy had stabilized.

Gunfire and explosions resounded for hours, subsiding by midday.

The West, particularly France, considers Burkina Faso a key ally in the fight against al Qaeda in the region. In the other attack across town, there were "numerous victims" at the national army headquarters, he said.

Plumes of black smoke could be seen above the army offices in western Ouagadougou where police and gendarmerie responded.

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". Windows were broken there and in the surrounding buildings.

"Some of the soldiers ran into a nearby bank to seek shelter".

Remy Danjuinou, Burkina Faso's communications minister, said eight Islamic extremists had died, five near the embassy and three at the army offices. "Several were killed outside and inside the premises", Mr Korbeogo said.

An attack by gunmen past year on a restaurant in the capital left at least 18 people dead, including two attackers.

He stressed the need to boost worldwide partnership to support efforts by Burkina Faso and the Sahel countries to root out terrorism. The Secretary-General renews his call for an urgent and concerted effort by the global 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.

  • Rogelio Becker