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17 Killed in Attack on Burkina Faso Restaurant, Authorities Say

It wasn't immediately clear who carried out the attack. Like West African countries, Burkina Faso, has been targeted by jihadist groups.
Image: Wounded person evacuated in Ouagadougou
An unidentified wounded person is evacuated after gunmen attacked a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Sunday night.Reuters

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — At least 17 people were killed and eight others were wounded in an attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, late Sunday, the Communications Ministry said Monday.

Gunmen attacked the Aziz Istanbul restaurant, and security forces were deployed to try to end the attack, Communications Ministry Remi Dandjinou told reporters, according to Reuters.

Witnesses said shots were heard around 9 p.m. (5 p.m. ET). Several hours later, a heavy exchange of gunfire could still be heard, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

Sunday's attack comes less than two years after Islamic extremists killed 30 people at a downtown restaurant popular with foreigners.

It wasn't immediately clear who carried out the attack. Burkina Faso, like other countries in West Africa, has been sporadically targeted by jihadist groups operating across Africa's Sahel.

Many attacks have been along the country's remote northern border region with Mali, a country that has endured attacks by Islamist militants for more than a decade.

Thirty people were killed when gunmen struck a restaurant and a hotel in Ouagadougou in January 2016 in an incident for which al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility.

A new al-Qaeda-linked alliance of Malian jihadist groups claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least five people at a luxury resort in Mali popular with Western expatriates just outside the capital, Bamako, in June.