Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Burkina Faso arrests likely mastermind of twin attacks

Burkina Faso arrests likely mastermind of twin attacks

The Secretary-General renews his call for an urgent and concerted effort by the global 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. Windows were broken there and in the surrounding buildings. The assailants also arrived in a pickup and starting shooting at soldiers, said Moussa Korbeogo, a trader at a nearby market.

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.

Five emergency centres 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. "Several were killed outside and inside the premises", Korbeogo said. They then ran towards the French embassy, according to witnesses who saw the attack from the state television offices facing the embassy.

The city has been attacked at least twice in the past few years by Islamic extremists targeting foreigners.

An attack by gunmen past year on a restaurant in the capital left at least 18 people dead, including two attackers.

The government said the attack on the military headquarters was a suicide vehicle bombing and that a regional antiterrorism meeting may have been the intended target.

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Paul Koalaga, a security consultant in Burkina Faso, said the attacks involved a "crescendo".

A gunman who attacked the military headquarters was wearing the uniform of the national army, according to a security source.

Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger's president and the current chair of the group, said Friday's attacks "will only strengthen the resolve of the G5-Sahel and its allies in the fight against terrorism". Extremists are thought to be hiding in forested areas in the border region.

During the 2016 assault, security forces waited for hours before trying to intervene.

As per the reports, two people were arrested near the headquarters in relation to the deadly attack.

Associated Press writers Carley Petesch and Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.

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