Burkina Faso Prime Minister speaks after deadly attacks

Smoke seen in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou after the attack. [Photo credit: Dapo Olorunyomi]

The Burkina Faso Prime Minister, Paul Kaba Thieba, said on Friday evening that he was not affected by the deadly attacks across the country’s capital Friday morning.

“The Prime Minister’s office is untouched and is intact”, Galip Some, a Burkinabe government spokesperson told local media.

Witnesses in Ouagadougou started reporting sounds of gunfire and rocket launchers across the city shortly after 10:00 a.m. local time.

The attackers, whose identities remained unclear as at the time of filing this report, apparently targeted Army Headquarters, French Embassy in Ouagadougou and Mr. Kaba Thieba’s office.

Some witnesses said the attack bore the markings of terrorism. The French embassy described the incident as a terrorist attack.

Seven of the attackers had earlier been confirmed dead in shootout with troops in the capital. Four attackers were killed at the French Embassy in Ouagadougou; while three others were gunned down at the Army Headquarters, local media reports said.

Mr. Some said in the government’s first statement since the attack that authorities “cannot ascribe any motive” to the attackers “since we are not in their mind.”

PREMIUM TIMES publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, reported from Ouagadougou that Burkinabe soldiers have largely contained the attack and have taken charge of the streets of Ouagadougou.

No gunfire has been heard since, but smoke covered the city’s skylines throughout the day.

Today’s incident defies known patterns of Salafi jihadists in the country, further fueling speculations around its motives.

Last August, militants stormed a restaurant in Ouagadougou, killing 17 people.

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

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Samuel Ogundipe is a general assignment reporter at PREMIUM TIMES. At various times, he has covered the Presidency, National Assembly and Defence.

Twitter: @SamuelOgundipe


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