Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou was on Friday evening thrown into turmoil as armed militants attacked two places popular with UN staff and foreigners.
The militants linked to Al Qaeda attacked the luxurious Splendid Hotel and the nearby Cappuccino cafe, setting off several explosions. According to authorities, 28 people were killed whilst another 54 were wounded.
Remi Dandjinou, the Burkinabe Communications Minister suspects the attacks were planned as the militants who attacked the Splendid had been staying at the hotel as guests.
The BBC reports that the siege is now over and the security forces have been able to rescue 176 hostages.
Some of the Survivors described the militants as merciless as they continuously shot indiscriminately at piles of bodies to make sure the people were really dead.
“They started shooting, shooting, and everybody lay down on the ground, as soon as you lifted your head they would shoot straightaway, so you had to pretend to be dead. And they even came to touch our feet to check if we were alive. As soon as you were alive, they would shoot at you.”
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso has announced a 3-day national mourning for the victims.
In November last year, al Qaeda-linked Al-Mourabitoun carried out a similar attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in neighbouring Mali which left 19 people dead.