burkina faso, napad, vojska, policija.jpg
Photograph: EPA/AHMED YEMPABOU

Al-Qaeda militants in Burkina Faso killed 26 people from several countries in an attack on a cafe and a luxury hotel in the capital, which ended after raids by security forces on Saturday.

Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba gave the confirmed death toll from the attacks after an emergency meeting of his cabinet. A further 56 people were injured, several of them seriously, according to Thieba.

Interior Minister Simon Compaore said 126 hostages had been freed from the 147-room Splendid Hotel in the West African country's capital, Ouagadougou. Another 30 were safe at the Cappuchino cafe.

Among the dead were six Canadians and one US citizen.

Calling the attack a "terrible crime," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was "deeply saddened by these senseless acts of violence on innocent civilians."

The US State Department named the American victim as Michael James Riddering, who was a missionary according to US media.

Two Swiss nationals and two French citizens - work colleagues according to French news agency AFP - were also reported killed.

The siege, which began Friday evening and continued overnight with sporadic reports of gunfire and explosions, ended with Burkinabe and French soldiers launching a counter-assault on the hotel.

The attackers first opened fire upon the Cappuccino Cafe before moving on to the hotel next door, which is popular with foreigners.

Four militants were killed, Compaore said.

The US-based monitoring group SITE Intel said the group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "heinous terrorist attacks."

The assault occurred just weeks after President Roch Kabore took office. Kabore was elected in November in the first free elections in the country in 50 years.

The landlocked country, a former French colony, is the largest cotton producer in Africa and is also rich in gold. Despite its resources, it is one of the poorest countries in the world.

French President Francois Hollande "declared his complete support for President Kabore and to the Burkinabe people in the despicable and cowardly attack that has hit Ouagadougou," his office said in a statement.

Related stories

Burkina Faso hotel siege ends with 126 hostages freed

Ambassador: 27 dead in Burkina Faso attacks

Suspected extremists kidnap Austrian couple in Burkina Faso

Latest news

Australian ex-PM slams Netanyahu for 'torpedoing' peace process

Former Australian premier Kevin Rudd has accused Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu of "torpedoing" peace negotiations in the Middle East.

Weekly "Novosti" dismisses NGO's accusations

The newspaper today also dismissed all accusations the NGO presented at a recent news conference, and retorted that the NGO's criticism were ill-intended and untrue accusations.

Sixteen killed in fighting between army and rebels in Congo

Sixteen fighters from the reactivated Congolese rebel movement M23 have been killed during two days of fighting with the army in the east of the country, a military spokesman said Thursday.

Maltese FM on behalf of EU calls for preservation of stability in BiH

Maltese Foreign Minister George Vella said in Sarajevo on Thursday that his country, as the current chair of the European Union, closely followed the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and other parts of the Western Balkans.

Croatia-Hungary committee on minorities meets after four-year hiatus

The Croatia-Hungary Intergovernmental Committee for the implementation of the agreement on the protection of the rights of the respective ethnic minorities met in Zagreb on Thursday after a four-year hiatus.

Syrian rebels claim full control of al-Bab, defeating IS

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey said Thursday they are fully in control of al-Bab, wresting it from Islamic State after a military campaign that began in November and cost hundreds of lives.

HURS says Croatia fails to create conditions for long-term growth

The Croatian Association of Workers' Trade Unions (HURS) warned on Thursday that a report which the European Commission released on Wednesday showed that Croatia had failed to create conditions for a long-term economic growth, adding that the situation in the Podravka food company suggested the continuation of the trend of shutting down jobs in the production sector.

Italy seizes 20 million in assets from Mafia clan

Italian police on Thursday seized assets worth 20 million euros (about 21 million dollars) from a renowned clan of the Neapolitan Camorra Mafia.

Naples doctor nabbed with 50 kilograms of drugs in car boot

Police in Naples on Thursday arrested an Italian doctor who was driving around with 50 kilograms of drugs in the boot of his car.

Two German archaeologists kidnapped in northern Nigeria

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped two German nationals in northern Nigeria, police said Thursday.

UN talks peace with Syrian regime, opposition as fighting escalates

The United Nations launched a new effort at Syrian peace talks in Geneva on Thursday, as heavy fighting between regime and rebel forces dampened hopes for any quick solution to end the war after nearly six years.

EU anti-fraud office eyeing claims against Merkel challenger Schulz

Martin Schulz, the main contender against German Chancellor Angela Merkel in upcoming elections, could face a probe for advocating questionable bonuses and promotions while European Parliament president, the EU's anti-fraud office said Thursday.