Burkina Faso-Hotel Attack: 126 people freed, 4 jihadis die in Burkina Faso

In this grab taken from video by Associate Press Television, two unidentified armed men approach a vehicle, near to a hotel, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Attackers struck an upscale hotel popular with Westerners in Burkina Faso's capital late Friday, fueling the recent political turmoil in the West African country. Three hours later, gunfire could still be heard as soldiers in an armored vehicle finally approached the area. (Associated Press Television)

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) – The latest developments in the assault of a hotel by al-Qaida-linked gunmen in Burkina Faso’s capital. All times are local:

11:40

In a separate development, Abi Ouattara, spokeswoman for Burkina Faso’s ministry of security and internal affairs, says an Austrian doctor and his wife were kidnapped by extremists in the country’s north near its border with Mali.

The spokeswoman said the jihadists abducted the two from the town of Baraboule in the Soum province in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region.

The ministry did not have immediate information on how long the two had been in northern Burkina Faso, where they were doing volunteer work.

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10:30 a.m.

Burkina Faso’s president says forces have killed a fourth extremist in a nearby hotel.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said Saturday that Burkina Faso and French forces killed the jihadist while searching the Hotel Yibi after ending the operation at the Splendid Hotel where they freed 126 people and killed three attackers.

He said two of the three attackers killed earlier Saturday have been identified as women.

Kabore also updated the death toll to at least 23 killed after extremists attacked a cafe and seized the hotel in Ouagadougou Friday night and held it until Saturday morning.

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10:00 a.m.

The spokesman for Burkina Faso’s ministry of security and internal affairs says that 22 people were killed after al-Qaida-linked extremists seized a hotel in the capital.

Spokesman Abi Ouattara gave the toll after forces freed 126 people and killed three jihadis, ending the operation against the extremists at the Splendid Hotel and nearby cafe in Ouagadougou.

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8:30 a.m.

Burkina Faso’s minister of security says 126 people have been freed and three jihadists killed in the operation against al-Qaida-linked extremists who seized a hotel in the capital.

Minister of Security and Internal Affairs Simon Compaore said Saturday that forces have retaken control of the Splendid Hotel and the Cappuccino Cafe. He said they are searching nearby hotels to be sure there are no other extremists hiding there.

He said 33 people have been wounded, and they are still determining the casualties.

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7:40 a.m.

Forces from Burkina Faso and France escorted more people from a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital as they worked to take back the fire-blackened building. The rescuers exchanged heavy gunfire with al-Qaida militants who had seized the hotel the night before.

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7 a.m.

At least 10 bodies had been found amid the attack by Islamic extremists on a luxury hotel in the capital of Burkina Faso. Internal Affairs Minister Simon Compaore said that the 10 bodies were found inside the Cappuccino Cafe, a restaurant next to the Splendid Hotel. It is unclear how many people remain inside the hotel after dawn broke Saturday in Ouagadougou (wah-gah-DOO-goo).

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6 a.m.

An official at the Pentagon in Washington says one U.S. military member is embedded with French forces on the scene of the attack. The source tells AP there are about 75 U.S. troops in Burkina Faso: 15 assigned to the embassy and about 60 assisting the French military. The U.S. is working to help provide the France with surveillance and reconnaissance help.

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