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Burkina Faso Hit By Suspected Islamic Terrorist

Burkina Faso Hit By Suspected Islamic Terrorist

The Burkinabe government said that eight attackers and seven soldiers were killed in the attacks, but other reports suggested an even bloodier outcome, with dozens of victims.

A French official in Paris confirmed that an assault against the embassy was underway, as well as against the Burkina Faso army headquarters.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained.

About 50 were reportedly injured at the army headquarters, where witnesses described an explosion just after 10am.

Google Map of Ougadougou Burkina Faso
Google Map of Ougadougou Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, like other countries in West Africa, has been continually targeted by extremist groups operating across the region.

Last year, suspected jihadists killed at least 18 people during an attack on a restaurant in Ouagadougou.

The government is blaming Islamist extremists for the attack. "This figure is far below reality because some have found shelter in households and others have refused to be registered", said Christian Munezero, the head of the ICRC in Burkina Faso.

Two of the terrorists died in a shootout with security forces during that attack.

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Responsibility was claimed by a group called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The northern border region near Mali is the home of Ibrahim Malam Dicko, a preacher who has claimed responsibility for recent deadly attacks on troops and civilians.

Among his objectives has been ending the use of French, the former colonizer's language, in regional schools. Burkinabe forces backed by French military counterparts have tried to capture Dicko but he remains at large.

The mayor of Ouagadougou, Armand Béouindé told France's Le Monde newspaper that the attackers shot at the town hall and his office windows were shattered. But the terror threat in Burkina Faso is increasingly homegrown, experts say.

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French forces in the country were also deployed.

Five countries - Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania - backed by France, launched a new taskforce a year ago to tackle Islamist militants in the region, to which global donors have committed half a billion dollars.

During the 2016 assault, security forces waited for hours before trying to intervene.

Islamist militants have gained a stronger foothold in Africa's vast Sahel region in the last few years, launching attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Niger.

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Associated Press writers Carley Petesch and Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, contributed.