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Gunmen attack restaurant, kill 17, injure many in Burkina Faso

Terrorists have attacked a popular restaurant patronised by by the Turkish people, killed 17 and injured a dozen in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the government said Monday.

Witnesses said three gunmen arrived at a Turkish restaurant in a pickup truck on Sunday evening and opened fire on customers seated outside.

The government then launched a counter-assault, with gunfire heard into the night.

'A terrorist attack at Istanbul restaurant on Ouagadougou's Kwame Nkrumah Avenue claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed,' a government statement said, adding that 12 people had been injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which continued into the early hours Monday. Gunfire could be heard almost seven hours after the attack began. At least of the dead was French.

Communication minister Remis Dandjinou said it was not clear how many assailants were involved.

'They are confined to one part of the building they attacked. Security and elite forces are conducting an operation,' he said on television.

A paramedic told AFP that one of the victims was a Turkish national.

'We evacuated 11 people but one of them, a Turk, died on arriving at hospital,' the paramedic said, declining to be named.

Police evacuated civilians from the area before launching the counter-assault, with the heavy exchange of fire becoming more sporadic as the operation went on.

One soldier had said there were hostages on the first and second floor of the two-storey building housing the Turkish restaurant.

The mayor of Ouagadougou and government ministers were at the scene, he added.

Video footage posted on Twitter shows people fleeing, as shouting and gunshots are heard. Armed officers in uniform are then seen walking towards the attack site.

The gunfire reportedly stopped at around 3am GMT.


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