Security forces in Burkina Faso battled suspected Islamist fighters outside the Splendid Hotel in the capital’s business district as reports surfaced that at least one hostage is being held.
The gunmen stormed the hotel, burning cars outside and firing in the air to drive back crowds before security forces arrived, prompting an intense exchange of gunfire.
A senior official with the national gendarmes said suspected Islamist fighters took an unknown number of hostages.
‘It is continuing at this time. We are trying to know how many attackers they are to better coordinate our actions. Hostages have been taken. The operation could take several hours,’ the officer said asking not to be named.
Eyewitnesses say two car bombs exploded at approximately 7.30pm local time before three or four masked men stormed the hotel.
Witnesses reported seeing a gunmen emerge from the hotel and fire into the air to keep crowds away.
USA Today states the Splendid Hotel is popular with Westerners and UN Staff
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