28 dead in terror attack as troops retake hotel in Burkina Faso

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A soldier stands guard in front of burned cars across the street from Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Jan. 17, 2016, a day after security forces retook the hotel from al Qaeda fighters who seized it in an assault that killed more than two dozen people from at least 18 countries and marked a major escalation of Islamist militancy in West Africa. Photo By Joe Penney/Reuters

A soldier stands guard in front of burned cars across the street from Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Jan. 17, 2016, a day after security forces retook the hotel from al Qaeda fighters who seized it in an assault that killed more than two dozen people from at least 18 countries and marked a major escalation of Islamist militancy in West Africa. Photo By Joe Penney/Reuters

Four al Qaeda-linked fighters who attacked two hotels and a restaurant on Friday in the landlocked African country of Burkina Faso were killed by security forces more than 12 hours after the siege began.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said 28 people from 18 countries were killed during the attacks in an area known to be popular with westerners. Among the dead were one American and six Canadians, Reuters said.

Michael James Riddering, the American who was killed, had reportedly moved to the former French colony to start an orphanage with his wife.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the assault in the country’s capital city of Ouagadougou.

“Faced with these terrorists and their vile acts, we must mobilize to ensure the appropriate response to put them out of action,” Kabore said in an address on state television.

More than 150 hostages were freed as security forces stormed the hotel where the assailants were said to be holed up. Another 50 people were wounded by the jihadists, Kabore said.

“We heard shots, grenades, detonations,” one Slovenian survivor told Reuters. “It was echoing and extremely loud. It went on for a long time.”

The attacks occurred at the Splendid Hotel, Hotel Yibi and the Cappuccino restaurant, Reuters reported.

French officials said two of its citizens also were killed, while the Agence France Presse reported Ukrainians, Portuguese, Swiss and a Dutch person died during the attacks.

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