About 30 people were feared killed after suspected jihadists launched a three-pronged assault on public offices across the Burkinabe capital last Friday.
Most of the victims were Burkinabe soldiers who responded to coordinated attacks by gunmen in Ouagadougou on the said day. At least seven attackers were said to have been killed in shootouts with the troops.
More than 64 persons are reported to have sustained injuries in the attacks which were launched against Burkinabe Prime Minister’s office, the army Headquarters as well as the French Embassy.
Four out of the eight deaths confirmed by the government occurred at the Prime Minister’s office while the remaining four happened at the French Embassy. It was not immediately clear why the government played down the death toll, but such practice is not uncommon in the country.
At about 10 am, the carnage started when unknown gunmen drove a pickup truck to the city center resulting in the killing of many soldiers in the gun battle that followed.
They immediately burnt their truck before opening fire on passers-by. Within minutes, the attackers had gotten to the Prime Minister’s office, the French Embassy and the Army Headquarters and fired rockets at the buildings. Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba suffered no injury in the attack.
The group which was said to have launched the attack to celebrate its first anniversary has an objective: that of spreading the caliphate and introduce Sharia. It is worth noting that, when it was formed last year, it announced its footprint to cover only Libya, Mali and Niger.
According to the last information, the attacks of Ouagadougou were claimed by the jihadist group GSIM (Group for the support of the Islam and the Muslims). The group asserts having acted ” in answer to the death of several of his leaders in a raid of the French army in the North of Mali two weeks ago “.