Egypt condemns terrorist attack in Burkina Faso


Egypt condemned in the "strongest terms" twin attacks that targeted Friday the French embassy and army headquarters in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, killing at least 35 people. All eight militants were slain by security forces. Le Drian said the damage at the embassy was relatively minor. He did not talk about any French military reinforcements to the city.

The embassy came under attack around 10:15 GMT.

Among the dead, is Col. Djibril Lalle, a senior army officer, who was the director of studies and planning at the Ministry of Defence and who was a former governor of the Sahel region, Sawadogo said. The victims were of several different nationalities. An attack on the military headquarters strikes at the heart of Burkina Faso's security establishment, while the French embassy is normally one of the safest places in the capital. The Secretary-General encourages the authorities to launch an investigation on these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Eight security personnel and eight attackers were killed in the fighting while 80 people including civilians, were wounded, officials say.

Troops ride in a vehicle near the French Embassy in central Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday March 2, 2018. He said that the death toll for the soldiers is likely to climb, as many others were seriously wounded.

France's embassy and cultural institute in Ouagadougou are no longer in danger, an aide to Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said.

The troops support forces in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger against groups such as the Defense Group of Islam and Muslims.

The French ambassador to Burkina Faso, Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, expressed solidarity with Burkina Faso. He said it was not clear how many militants staged the assaults in both locations and others may be on the run.

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A Reuters reporter said gunfire had largely ceased by noon. He was not able to give further casualty details.

Previous attacks were conducted by allies of al Qaeda in reprisal for Burkina Faso's participation in a regional fight against militants.

The U.S. State Department urged Americans on Friday to reconsider travel to Burkina Faso because of terrorism.

Retired soldier Amado Belem told The Associated Press he is unhappy about the assault.

Gunshots became intermittent and helicopters are now flying near the French Embassy.

Smoke rises amid one of the attacks in Ouagadougou. Witness said loud explosions were still heard around the army headquarters.

Officials and witnesses said a carload of gunmen arrived at France's consulate in Ouagadougou, emerged and began shooting. Police and army units were deployed in the area.