DAKAR- At least 27 people of 18 different nationalities have been killed in an attack on a hotel, Friday night, in the capital Ouagadougou by al-Qaida-linked militants, security officials have confirmed. The number is slightly higher than a death toll of 23 given earlier by the West African nation’s president.
150 people from 18 countries had been rescued from the site of the attack and had received medical treatment, Ambassador Gilles Thibault tweeted.
According to officials, the attack was perpetrated by three jihadis, including an Arab and two black Africans, who were also killed in the assault on the Splendid hotel and the nearby Cappuccino cafe in Ouagadougou. Troops also killed a fourth extremist in a later raid on the Yibi hotel.
At least 60 hostages were freed by Security forces when they first stormed the building. Commandos continued to fight a floor-by-floor battle with the gunmen several hours after the initial attack.
“It was horrible, people were sleeping and there was blood everywhere,” said Yannick Sawadogo, one of those who escaped. “They were firing at people at close range. We heard them speaking and they were walking around people and firing at people who were not dead. And when they came out they started a fire.”
Simon Compaore, the country’s security minister, told AFP the death toll could rise further as security forces continued to search for casualties. “We don’t yet have a total tally of the dead. The Burkinabe forces are still combing the hotel,” he said.