An affiliate of Al-Qaeda on Saturday claimed the responsibility for the terrorist attacks on the French embassy and the army headquarters in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou on Friday, left 16 people dead and 80 injured. There has been no claim of responsibility.
Red Cross members stand at the municipal stadium where an emergency medical post was established, after a coordinated assault on the army headquarters and French embassy in the capital Ougadougou, Burkina Faso March 2, 2018. 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.
Eight armed forces personnel were killed in the fighting in the West African nation on Friday, the government said, while a French security source said 12 more were seriously injured. Earlier security sources had reported a higher toll.
The Mauritanian news agency Alakhbar says the militant group Jama Nusrat Ul-Islam wa Al-Muslimin issued a message late today saying it was behind the attacks.
Two people were arrested near the headquarters, a security source told AFP. Northern areas near the border with Mali have been a regular target of attacks by various extremist groups, some of them vowing to step up deadly assaults in response to the recent deployment of a regional G5 Sahel force.
"The vehicle was packed with explosives" and caused "huge damage", Security Minister Clement Sawadogo said.
The Paris prosecutor's office said it has opened a preliminary attempted murder investigation into the attack because the embassy was among the targets, a French judicial official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media identified.
According to French military sources, some 20 jihadists were "killed or captured" on that occasion.
No one inside the embassy was harmed, but a gendarme and the four attackers were killed, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in televised remarks.
"Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso", the State Department said.