Jihadists have attacked Aziz Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant, known for patronage of foreign tourists in Burkina Faso, on Sunday (13 August) killing at least 18 people and wounding eight.
Burkina Faso’s Communications Minister, Remis Dandjinou, said the dead consist of different nationalities. A French national is reported to have been killed in the attack. Security agencies are working to identify bodies so that families can be informed.
Conflicting reports claim that three gunmen arrived on motorcycles while others say they came in a 4×4 vehicle at around 9:30 pm local time and opened fire on diners seated outside the restaurant.
“We evacuated 11 people but one of them, a Turk, died on arriving at hospital,” said a paramedic.
No group has yet claimed responsibility but Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM), which is operational in Mali and Niger are suspected to have carried out the attack. The Islamic terrorist group has targeted Christians and also Western interests which it believes are synonymous with Christianity.
Remis Dandjinou said, in the state television (RTB), that three of the attackers have been killed. The street has been cordoned off by security with shots being fired. There were still people trapped in the two-floor building in the restaurant as of Monday morning.
In January 2016, a similar attack by three gunmen, which Al Mourabitoun, a faction of AQIM, claimed responsibility for killed 30 people at a café in the town.
The Burkina Faso government has identified another terrorist group at the northern border region lead by, Ibrahim Malam Dicko, an associate of Ansarul Islam, who has claimed recent deadly attacks against troops and civilians in the region.
Bukina Faso, the poorest West African country, is considerably facing threats from radical Islamic terror groups affiliated to Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and breakaway faction of Boko Haram in Nigeria. The fluid borders of Mali, Nigeria and Nigeria has made combating Islamic terrorism by Multinational forces, supported the French government difficult.
Hassan John Is West Africa Editor for GCN. He is a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos
Image Credits: CC Google images