Hotel in Burkina Faso Attacked by Al Qaeda

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Splendid Hotel, Burkina Faso, a harrowing image post terror attack. At least 12 foreigners, were killed in an Al-Qaeda attack on a top hotel in Burkina Faso, an unprecedented strike in the capital illustrating the expanding reach of regional jihadists. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

This past weekend a bloody terror attack on a luxury hotel and café in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, killed at least 28 people.

According to BBC news Al-Qaeda in the Islāmic Maghreb (AQIM) has named three militants who it says carried out last week’s hotel attack.

The terror plot and execution that began Friday, January 15, started with explosions and hostage taking at about 7:30 p.m., targeting the Splendid Hotel and the nearby Cappuccino Cafe. Another hotel in the nearby vicinity was also taken under siege.

A 12-hour standoff ensued lasting through the night and well into Saturday.

Local French security forces stormed the hotels, killing at least four of the attackers.

Two of the three attackers were identified as female, said Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a national radio address.

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Malian Prime Minister Modibo Keita (C) and Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba (L) walk towards cafe-restaurant Capuccino after visiting the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, following a jihadist attack by Al-Qaeda linked gunmen late on January 15, 2016. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ottawa Citizen newspaper online states that the government in Burkina Faso said 28 people were killed and 56 were injured in the attack. Burkina Faso began three days of official national mourning on Sunday and planned to step up security in its capital and along its borders.

Six Canadian aid workers and volunteers from Quebec, seven Burkinabé citizens;two French nationals, a Portuguese citizen, a Dutch citizen, and American missionary were among those that lost their lives in the senseless act.

At least 126 hostages were freed, in part by French forces, who arrived overnight from neighboring Mali to aid in the rescue.

On Sunday, Pope Francis offered a prayer for the victims of the attacks in Burkina Faso and Indonesia, and that the international community’s efforts toward building peace find support.