In an attack which began on Friday the 15th of January 2016, the first of its kind in Burkina Faso, 29 people from different nationalities have been confirmed dead with over 59 people wounded. Gunmen armed with heavy weaponry attacked the cappuccino restaurant and the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso. The siege carried over into the next morning, when it ended after a counter-attack by the nation’s government, who managed a total rescue of 176 hostages. Three of the perpetrators were likewise killed. The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The death toll is inclusive of six Canadians (according to Canadian officials), seven citizens of Burkina Faso, two Ukrainians, two Swiss, two French and one victim each from Holland, Portugal, Libya and the US according to the partial list released by Burkina Faso officials, other bodies are being identified.
The Communications Minister Remi Dandjinou revealed that six or seven turbaned gunmen reportedly arrived in four-wheel drive cars and burnt ten vehicles, they then attacked the cappuccino restaurant containing a numbered 100 guests according to Radio Télévision du Burkina (RTB) and then took hostages at the 147 room, four star Splendid Hotel. Some perpetrators arrived at the hotel during the day and mingled with guests, while others joined them after nightfall. The two places attacked receive frequent foreign patronage.
Following the terrible tragedy, Burkina Faso has commenced a three-day national mourning which began on Sunday after the governments successful intervention. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore urged that his people must unite in the fight against terrorism, announcing on the national broadcaster, Burkina 24, that security forces would be stepping up their efforts to thwart future attacks and the people would do well to comply with the new restrictions.