Al Qaeda (AQIM) claims responsibility for attack at Splendid Hotel Burkina Faso

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Cars ablaze outside Splendid Hotel (Image via BBC)

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have released a statement claiming responsibility for an attack on the Splendid Hotel, Ouagadougou popular with UN staff and westerners. The attack began around 7.30 local time. An AFP reporter on site said the shooting was initiated by three armed men wearing turbans. Witnesses described gunmen storming the hotel, setting cars alight and firing into the air to keep crowds at bay before security forces arrived and a tense gun battle followed.  Robert Sangare, the head of Yalgado Ouedraogo hospital told AFP,

“For the dead, we do not have a precise figure, but there are at least 20 dead.”

“We have had at least 15 wounded with bullet wounds and others who suffered injuries during the panic to escape.”

Brian Whelan, Channel 4 News tweeted the following image,

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“Woh. I’ve stayed at the hotel under attack by Islamists in Burkina Faso, terrible news. Beautiful country”

The Guardian reported, “the hotel is sometimes used by French troops with Operation Barkhane, a force based in Chad and set up to combat Islamic militants across Africa’s vast, arid Sahel region.” The New York Times highlighted information from Moumani Barro, a conference delegate who said, “an African airline safety group was holding a meeting at the hotel, and members of the organization, the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, were in the hotel when the attack began.”

AQIM claim of responsibility, (image tweeted by Jon Williams, ABC)

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Rukmini Callimachi, Foreign correspondent for The New York Times, focusing on al-Qaeda and ISIS tweeted the following updates, (screenshot via Jim Early)

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Meanwhile AQIM has put out new statement. According to transcript provided by SITE, AQIm claims that they reached jihadists inside hotel

The jihadists inside the hotel claim they killed 30 ppl and that the operation was “revenge against France and the disbelieving West.”

Footage of hotel attack 

Earlier attacks

This is not the first time AQIM and Al Murabitoon (whose leader is Mokhtar Belmokhtar) have attacked a hotel. Back in November 2015, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako came under siege as gunmen seized 170 people before special forces stormed the building. At least 18 people died. This assault marked a merger of the two groups and their first joint assault. Long War Journal stated,

“the attack in Bamako heralded the reintigration of Al Murabitoon into AQIM. On Dec. 4, AQIM’s Al Andalus Media released an audio statement from Abdelmalek Droukdel, the emir of AQIM, announcing the merger of Al Murabitoon into its ranks.”

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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