Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso– At least 18 people died and several others were injured after at least two suspected radical Islamic terrorists attacked the Aziz Istanbul restaurant Sunday evening. According to Reuters, security forces killed the gunmen and freed the remaining hostages.

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 18 people and wounded several during a raid on a restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital overnight, but security forces shot dead both attackers and freed people trapped inside the building.

“This is a terrorist attack,” Communications Minister Remi Dandjinou told a news conference on Monday.

Burkina Faso, like other countries in West Africa, has been targeted sporadically by jihadist groups. Most attacks have been along its remote northern border with Mali, which has seen activity by Islamist militants for more than a decade.

A Reuters witness saw customers running out of the Aziz Istanbul restaurant in central Ouagadougou as police and paramilitary gendarmerie surrounded it, amid gunfire.” – Reuters

The New York Times quoted Capt. Guy Hervé Yé, a military spokes man, as stating that at least two of the militants were killed by security forces. It is also believed that the men arrived to the restaurant on motorcycle at approximately 9 pm local time. Several of the victims were foreigners as the restaurant is close to the airport.

“The restaurant, on a busy commercial strip not far from the airport, is popular with both locals and foreigners. Seven of the victims were from Burkina Faso, with others from Nigeria, Senegal, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, Canada and France. Three were yet to be identified.” – New York Times

So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and groups affiliated with AQIM have attacked popular hotels and restaurants in the area over the recent years.

Featured image courtesy of AP

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