Burkina Faso terror attack: At least 18 killed after gunmen storm restaurant

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At least 18 people have been killed and a number of others injured after masked gunmen opened fire on a restaurant in the capital of Burkina Faso in a suspected terror attack.

Three attackers reportedly on motorcycles opened fire on customers dining at a Turkish restaurant in the centre of Ouagadougou.

Security forces killed two of the men and faced a seige with other attackers believed to be barricaded in the building with hostages. Gunfire could be heard almost seven hours after the attack began.

Police captain Guy Ye said the gunmen had arrived on motorcycles and began firing at diners “at random”.

The area around the restaurant was evacuated before police launched a counter-offensive with machine guns, assault rifles and heavy vehicles.

A wounded restaurant customer sits on the ground following an attack by gunmen on a restaurant in Ouagadougou (REUTERS)

Residents said they heard gunfire and saw armoured trucks driving through the city centre.

One told the BBC:  “I saw there were multiple trucks or jeeps driving through my street, with local army and police officers with AK47s, deploying in front of my house.

“I heard a lot of shootings and then I was scared as hell and I went inside.

“I’ve been hearing quite a bit of shooting.”

The government was today refusing to confirm the nationalities of the dead but one is believed to be French and another Turkish.

Soldiers have been deployed following the attack by gunmen on a restaurant (REUTERS)

Government communications minister Remi Dandjinou declared it “a terrorist attack” and warned the death toll may rise.

In addition to those killed, eight others were injured, he said, with two of the attackers also killed.

One woman told reporters she was inside the Aziz Istanbul Restaurant celebrating her brother’s birthday.

She said: “I just ran but my brother was left inside.”

The west African nation is one of the poorest countries in the world. It shares a northern border with Mali, which has long battled Islamic extremists.

In January last year more than 170 people were taken hostage by the Al-Qaeda linked militants Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) at the Splendid Hotel and Cappuccino restaurant.

It was just 200m away from the scene of last night’s attack.

In March two people were kidnapped and a school was torched after jihadists targeted educational sites.

The same month three people died when two police checkpoints were targeted.

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