Al-Qaida-Linked Group Claims Responsibility For Burkina Faso Attack Killing 16 People

| March 4 , 2018 , 11:50 IST

An affiliate of Al-Qaeda on Saturday claimed the responsibility for the terrorist attacks on the French embassy and the army headquarters in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou on Friday, left 16 people dead and 80 injured.

Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), a Mali-based Islamist group, claimed that eight of its members carried out the coordinated twin attacks, speaking via the Mauritanian news outlet Alakhbar.

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President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement: "Our country was once again the target of dark forces."

JNIM is believed to have carried out multiple attacks against both civilian and military targets across the western Sahel region in recent years.

The attacks were reportedly in response to the killing of one of the group’s leaders, Mohamed Hacen al-Ancari, in a recent raid carried out by French forces.

As per the reports, two people were arrested near the headquarters in relation to the deadly attack.

France has maintained a force of approximately 4,000 troops in its former colonies across the Sahel region since an incursion by Islamic militants in 2013.

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Earlier, the attacks in Ouagadougou and near Burkina Faso's porous border with Mali were also conducted by allies of al Qaeda. In reprisal for Burkina Faso’s participation in a regional fight against Islamist militant.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for attacks on a restaurant and hotel in Ouagadougou in January 2016 in which 30 people were killed.

AQIM merged with other local jihadist groups last year to form JNIM.