Burkina Faso hotel operation ends, 126 rescued, 3 attackers killed

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Ouagadougou, Jan 16 (IANS) At least 126 hostages were freed and three attackers killed on Saturday as security operations at the Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital ended, a senior official said.

The dead attackers were identified as an Arab and two black Africans, according to the country’s security minister Simon Compaore, Xinhua reported.

Some 20 people were killed, and over 40 were receiving treatment in hospitals in Ouagadougou.

A security operation was ongoing in another hotel nearby which was also attacked, said the minister.

The Splendid Hotel, not far from the capital city’s international airport, often hosts Westerners, including UN staff and journalists.

The Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militants attacked the hotel and took hostages there on Friday.

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Foreigners and Burkina Faso nationals were among the hostages.

Three heavily armed attackers, wearing ski masks attacked the hotel.

Gunfire and explosions were heard in the business centre of the capital around 7.30 p.m. The area around the hotel was sealed off and a curfew was imposed until 6 a.m. on Saturday.

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