Suspected Islamic extremists opened fire on dinners at a Turkish restaurant popular with foreigners in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso late Sunday, leaving at least 18 people dead including two attackers.
The communications minister Remis Dandjinou said in a press briefing that the neighbourhood around the restaurant was still being searched. Dandjinou said the victims comprised of several nationalities. The Turkish foreign ministry confirmed that a Turkish citizen was part of the victims.
The violence on the terrace of the restaurant began around 9 pm, local time on Sunday.
The local media reported that the restaurant which is popular for its European pastries and cakes contained people who were celebrating a birthday party.
The security force killed two attackers in the defensive attack that went on till Monday morning.
According to the Reuters news agency, Dandjinou told a press conference ‘’This attack is a terrorist attack’’ he also said ‘’Some people were held’’ by the attackers and ‘’Some were released’’.
Police captain Guy Ye reported that the attackers arrived at the restaurant on motorcycles, and began random shooting at the crowds dining Sunday evening.
The president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore made a statement saying ‘’I salute the bravery of our security and defence forces whose engagement allowed us to neutralise the terrorists’’, ‘’The fight against terrorism is a lengthy fight. That is why I am calling for vigilance, solidarity and unity of the whole nation to face up to the cowardice of our enemies’’.
The attack on Sunday brings sad memories of a similar event that took place in 2016 on the Cappuccino café in the same city which had 29 people dead.