Burkina president urges collaboration with security forces after deadly attacks

Burkina president urges collaboration with security forces after deadly attacks

Burkina president urges collaboration with security forces after deadly attacks

The suspect in custody was arrested several hours after Friday's twin attacks on the French embassy and the country's military headquarters in the capital Ouagadougou saw seven soldiers killed, the source.

Military personnel stand outside the headquarters of the country's defence forces in Ouagadougou on March 3, 2018 a day after dozen of people were killed in twin attacks on the French embassy and the country's military.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Saying the suspect could be "one of the brains" behind the attacks, the source told AFP there were "very strong suspicions" that "army infiltrators" had passed information to the assailants for the coordinated attacks in the capital Ouagadougou Friday claimed by GSIM, a jihadist group allied to al-Qaeda. They then ran towards the French embassy, according to witnesses who saw the attack from the state television offices facing the embassy.

It is not clear if more militants were involved in the violence, which was called a terrorist attack by Jean Bosco Kienou, director general of Burkina Faso's police, and French prime minister Edouard Philippe.

The government said the attack on the military headquarters was a suicide vehicle bombing and that the G5 Sahel regional anti-terrorism force may have been the target. The attacks marked the third time in about two years that the capital, Ouagadougou, has come under co-ordinated assaults by jihadists.

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That meeting had been moved to a different room, otherwise the death toll could have been far higher.

Burkina Faso has been the target of jihadist attacks since 2015, but they had never previously been carried out with this level of organisation. Forces backed by the French military have failed to capture Dicko. We do not know at the moment.

The G5 Sahel's completed force will be composed of 5,000 troops and aims to be fully operational by the end of the month.

The French Embassy came under attack around 10:15 a.m. Friday.

Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger's president and the current chair of the group, said Friday's attacks "will only strengthen the resolve of the G5-Sahel and its allies in the fight against terrorism". The various insurgencies in the region have caused thousands of deaths in addition to making tens of thousands of people flee their homes.

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