Last Sunday, May 12, in the small West African nation of Burkina Faso, as many as 30 armed Islamic terrorists stormed a Catholic church, slaughtered at least six Christian worshippers — including the officiating priest — then burned the church to the ground.
“Around 9 a.m., during a mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic Church. They started firing as the churchgoers tried to flee,” Dablo Mayor Ousmane Zongo told AFP.
Four foreign hostages have been freed by French forces in the West African country of Burkina Faso, the French government says.
Two of those released are French. The other two are said to be an American woman and a South Korean woman.
Two French soldiers were killed during the raid, the French presidency said. Four kidnappers were also killed, AFP quoted the French military as saying.
The French hostages had been kidnapped in neighbouring Benin on 1 May.
Two French Marines were killed in the operation.
Mort en opération de deux commandos Marine, les MT Cédric de Pierrepont et Alain Bertoncello. La Marine nationale est en deuil et s'associe à la douleur de leurs familles et de leurs frères d'armes. #InMemoriam >> https://t.co/BnqQhx8hYD pic.twitter.com/f0q32mrEZg
— Marine nationale (@MarineNationale) May 10, 2019
Gunmen have opened fire on a church in northern Burkina Faso, killing at least six people, officials say.
The attackers reportedly arrived on seven motorbikes at the end of Sunday’s service and killed the pastor, two of his sons and three other worshippers.
It is the first attack on a church since jihadist violence erupted in the West African country in 2016.
Fighters affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group as well as the local Ansarul Islam have been active.
A Canadian woman who’s been missing in West Africa for several months has reportedly been kidnapped and taken to Mali.
Edith Blais of Quebec and her travel companion, Luca Taccheto of Italy, went missing in December while travelling in Burkina Faso.
They were travelling by car in southwestern Burkina Faso en route to Togo, where they planned to do volunteer work with an aid group.
Ironic given the Trudeau government has decided to end its participation in the Mali peacekeeping mission.
A Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso has been found dead, a spokesperson for the Burkina Faso Security Ministry told Radio-Canada on Thursday.
Kirk Woodman, originally from Halifax, was abducted Tuesday night by a dozen gunmen at a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals near the border with Niger, in an area the government says is under growing threat from armed jihadists.
Woodman had been shot and his body was found Wednesday night, 100 kilometres from the site where he worked, the ministry spokesperson told Radio-Canada.
OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she is aware of “serious reports” about the kidnapping of a Canadian man in Burkina Faso.
According to local officials, a Canadian working for Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining Company identified as Kirk Woodman, was kidnapped overnight.
A spokesperson for Burkina Faso’s security ministry said the abduction occurred during a raid of a local mining site in the northern party of the country.
A 34-year-old Quebec woman and her 30-year-old Italian friend have gone missing while they were travelling together in West Africa, according to her family.
In a Facebook group, the family of Edith Blais, said she and her friend Luca Tacchetto were driving through Burkina Faso when they disappeared. They were last heard from on Dec. 15 when Blais posted photos from their trip to Facebook.
Blais, who is from Sherbrooke, Que., met Tacchetto, a 30-year-old architect, in Canada two years ago, the family said.
Very unfortunate news for the families. Burkina Faso is not the worst spot in Africa but still not the sort of place to be kicking about – Canada has issued a travel warning regarding the high risk of Muslim terror activity. Based on her FB page it appears Ms. Blais may have been an idealist.
Officials in Burkina Faso announced Monday that President Roch Marc Christian Kabore is declaring a state of emergency in northern provinces following intensified attacks from Islamist groups in the area.
“The president has decided to declare a state of emergency in certain provinces of Burkina Faso,” Communications Minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou said after a special cabinet meeting. “He has also given instructions for specific security measures across the country.”
Ten police officers were killed and three wounded in an ambush in northwestern Burkina Faso on Thursday, the west African country’s security ministry said.
“The toll is 10 officers who have lost their lives and three wounded,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that a police convoy from the Toeni region and reinforcements from the Dedougou area had been ambushed.
Security minister Clement Sawadogo confirmed the toll on national television, announcing an increase in police and army forces patrolling the area.
The officers were attacked while heading to the village of Loroni, near the border with Mali, after a school had been attacked and textbooks torched by armed assailants, a security source told AFP.
Update – 28 dead in terrorist attack in Burkina Faso capital
An explosion followed by gunfire has been heard at the army headquarters in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, reports Reuters. The army HQ is located close to the French embassy.
Masked gunmen with backpacks attacked guards at the entrance to the army HQ following the initial explosion, according to an eyewitness. It’s not yet clear what caused the blast, who is behind the attack, or if there have been any injuries.
Two Canadians have been killed in an attack at an upscale Turkish restaurant in Burkina Faso, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed Monday.
“My heartfelt condolences, the heartfelt condolences of our government go out to the loved ones of those targeted and the victims of this tragic attack,” Freeland said at a press conference on Monday.
The identities of the Canadians killed in the attack were not disclosed. Freeland said she didn’t have any further details to share on the tragedy “out of respect for the next of kin.”
Suspected Islamic extremists opened fire at a Turkish restaurant in the capital of Burkina Faso late on Sunday, killing at least 18 people in the second such attack on a restaurant popular with foreigners in the last two years.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which continued into the early hours of Monday. Gunfire could be heard almost seven hours after the attack began.
Communication Minister Remi Dandjinou told journalists that at least 18 people were dead and eight others wounded, according to a provisional toll. He said two of the attackers were also killed.
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Gaetan Santomenna lost his wife, his 9-year-old son and his mother the night jihadists attacked his cafe in Burkina Faso’s capital before striking a nearby hotel.
Now a year and a half later, he’s reopening doors to the popular restaurant as a sign of resistance to the growing extremism in this West African country.
“Being afraid does not help you escape danger. You aren’t safe anywhere. That’s the madness,” he said, shortly before the Cappuccino Cafe was due to open to the public again Thursday.
“I owe it to my children, to my family, to all those who have left us,” Santomenna said. “To accept defeat would be to not pay homage to them.”
Video footage has emerged showing two jihadis standing next to burning cars more than an hour after a fatal assault on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso’s capital, raising new questions about why it took so long for security forces to arrive.
The video shot by the Associated Press shows a man wearing a tunic and turban, carrying what appears to be a Kalashnikov rifle about 8.45pm, a little over an hour after they first attacked the Cappuccino Cafe in Ouagadougou. A second armed man can be seen wearing a large vest, and they are later joined by a third man with a pale scarf on his head. Explosions can be heard in the distance.