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Extremists Attack Burkina Faso's Capital

Extremists Attack Burkina Faso's Capital

Le Drian says in a written statement that Burkina Faso security forces are mobilized against the assailants, with the support of French security forces, to "reduce the threat".

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.

Authorities said four gunmen were killed at army headquarters, where the assailants also detonated a vehicle bomb, and four more were killed at the embassy. A deep hole in the ground and adjacent wall mark where extremists dressed in uniform set off a auto bomb, apparently targeting a room where senior officers were to have met, but had relocated, according to Security Minister Clement Sawadogo.

Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger's president and the current chair of the G5-Sahel, said Friday's attacks "will only strengthen the resolve of the G5-Sahel and its allies in the fight against terrorism". French Embassy officials said a French cultural center also was under attack. "Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with little or no warning".

Gunmen have launched twin attacks in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou.

Responsibility was claimed by a group called Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The US embassy in the city has advised people to seek shelter.

In an address to the nation Saturday, Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré honoured the victims and said nothing could justify the "senseless persecution" of the country, its institutions and population.

Earlier, an explosion rocked Burkina Faso's army headquarters in the capital Ouagadougou on Friday and black smoke could be seen billowing above, a Reuters witness said.

Witnesses told The Associated Press that they saw five attackers in a pickup truck heading toward the French Embassy.

Meanwhile, there have been no reports of Taiwanese nationals injured or killed in the attacks, the ministry said, citing its embassy in Burkina Faso. It shares a northern border with Mali, which has long battled Islamic extremists.

Government spokesman Remi Dandjinou told Reuters on Saturday that arrests had been made in connection with the attacks but it was unclear if he was referring to new arrests or the two that authorities had reported on Friday.

French forces based in the country have also been deployed.

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