Burkina Faso hotel on fire, commandos storm building where hostages held
The Splendid Hotel, attacked by al-Qaida militants on Friday, has caught fire after commandos used explosives to storm the building.
Three to four masked men stormed the hotel in the capital city of Ouagadougou, popular among Western tourists, and took hostages. A number of cars were lit on fire outside of the hotel.
Authorities have been engaged with the attackers for over five hours, and some hostages have been freed.
"Defense and security forces have successfully taken a few hostages out of hotel Splendid," Burkina Info tweeted.
At least 20 people are believed dead and another 15 are wounded. Several individuals were killed at the Cappuccino cafe across the street.
"At the restaurant that was attacked, six people were killed and multiple others were wounded," Honorary Consul of Russia in Burkina Faso Anna Rachina told RIA Novosti "There are foreigners [among the dead], possibly Europeans and locals."
According to SITE intelligence group, al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it revenge against the French government.
The hotel is also frequented by French troops with Operation Barkhane, an anti-terror unit based in Chad.
A curfew has also been put into effect until 6:00 GMT on Saturday.