French embassy ‘under attack’ in Burkina Faso’s capital
An armed attack currently underway in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou is centered on the French embassy, according to a post on the embassy’s Facebook page.
“The attack is ongoing at the French embassy and the French Institute,” the post said, adding that people should remain “confined” to where they are. The French Institute is a cultural organization.
France’s ambassador to Burkina Faso, Xavier Lapdecab, urged people via Twitter to act with “absolute precaution” as the attack is ongoing.
Burkina Faso’s national police have warned people to move away from areas around the “vicinity of the Prime Ministry — and the United Nations roundabout.”
“The specialized units of the defense and security forces are in action,” the force said on its official Facebook page.
The US Embassy in Burkina Faso also warned US citizens to seek shelter amid reports of gunfire.
A tweet from the US Embassy read: “@Usembassyouaga has received reports of gunfire in downtown Ouagadougou. Avoid the area of downtown Ouagadougou. Seek secure shelter. Monitor local media for updates. Check back here for more updates from the embassy.”
An attack by gunmen last year on a restaurant in Ouagadougou left at least 18 people dead, including two attackers.
That assault echoed a similar one in 2016 on a cafe in the same district of the city that left 29 dead. Responsibility for that attack was claimed by the jihadist group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Later that year jihadist attackers launched an assault on the Grand-Bassam beach resort in Ivory Coast, killing 16.