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MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. At least 20 people were killed when gunmen attacked a hotel in the capital of Burkina Faso, media reported.
"Gunmen have attacked a hotel used by westerners in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, taking hostages and reportedly killing at least 20 people," the BBC reported.
"Eyewitnesses said two car bombs went off outside the Splendid hotel at around 19:30 local time (same as GMT). Three to four masked men then stormed the Splendid Hotel, which is used by UN staff and westerners, witnesses said," the British public service broadcaster said.
"Robert Sangare, a hospital director in the city, said at least 20 people had died and 15 more wounded. Witnesses said soon after 01:00 that an operation to free hostages from the hotel was under way. Part of the hotel was on fire, they reported," the report said.
"Foreign Minister Alpha Barry had earlier said he would not rule out the co-operation of French troops. One group that monitors jihadist networks said al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed it was behind the attack," it said.
"Witnesses said the gunmen had initially entered the Cappuccino cafe near the hotel. One employee at the cafe told Agence France Presse that "several people" had been killed there," the BBC said. "Eyewitnesses reported hearing exchanges of gunfire between the men and security forces, as well as sporadic gunfire from inside the four-star hotel, which is close to the country's international airport.".
Burkina Faso law enforcers have taken out of the hotel at least 12 people, the local radio station Omega reported.