United Nations chief condemns attacks in Burkina Faso

United Nations chief condemns attacks in Burkina Faso”

The Trump administration's statement mentioned a terrorist attack Friday in Burkina Faso by armed Islamist militants, which led to the deaths of at least members of local security forces.

The government said the attack on the military was a suicide auto bombing and that a planned meeting of the G5 Sahel regional anti-terrorism force may have been the target. All eight militants were slain by security forces.

The French embassy modified an earlier Facebook message stating that it was under attack to say that an attack was under way in the capital but that it was not clear where.

"Perhaps it was the target. In any case, the room was literally destroyed by the explosion", said Mr Sawadogo.

Five emergency centers 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.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday in televised remarks that "they targeted France, which is linked to Burkina Faso in its fight against terrorism".

He paid tribute to the Burkinabe forces defending the embassy: "It's thanks to the courage of these troops and gendarmes that no one was hurt".

Burkina Faso has a history of military-backed coups as well as of jihadist attacks.

In August, extremists opened fire as patrons dined at a restaurant, killing at least 18 people.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for an attack on a restaurant and hotel in Ouagadougou in January 2016 in which 30 people were killed.

Macron, who spoke to President Kabore by phone, condemned the attack and said Paris was fully committed to the region, where France has some 4,500 soldiers as part of a counter-terrorism force since it intervened against militants in Mali in 2013.

Communications minister Remy Danguinou confirmed that Islamic extremists attacked both the French Embassy and the Burkina Faso army headquarters in Ouagadougou.

Other attacks in the region, which have occurred over the past month, include the abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Nigeria on February 19, and Wednesday's attack that killed four United Nations peacekeepers in Mali.

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