Malian militants likely behind Burkina Faso restaurant attack

Malian militants likely behind Burkina Faso restaurant attack
2 min read
17 August, 2017
Malian militants were most likely responsible for an attack on a Turkish restaurant in Burkina Faso, which left at least 18 people dead.
Burkina Faso has witnessed another deadly militant attack [AFP]

Militants behind an attack on a Turkish restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital, most likely came from Mali, a security source told AFP on Wednesday.

The attack left 18 people dead and sparked fears about security in the African country.

"Looking at the tactics of the assailants, their physical traits, they probably came from northern Mali or closer to the border" with Burkina Faso, an army officer said on condition of anonymity.

Nine locals and nine foreigners were shot dead by the gunman as they dined on the terrace of a Turkish restaurant in Ouagadougou late Sunday.

Among the dead were Kuwaitis, Canadians, French, Senegalese, Nigerian, Turkish and Lebanese diners.

The two Kuwaitis were reportedly Muslim imams from the al-Kabir Mosque who were in Burkina Faso on missionary work.

No group has claimed responsibility but Burkina Faso but al-Qaeda-linked militants have carried out previous attacks.

"The fact that the attack hasn't been claimed just suggests that it's an isolated act that could be linked to Ansarul Islam or AQIM," the officer said.

Ouagadougou prosecutor Faso Maiza Sereme has described the attackers as very young and made it clear that they went there ready to die.

Burkina Faso shares a large border with Mali, where jihadi fighters frequently launch attacks on security forces.  

Prosecutor Maiza Sereme has said Sunday's attack bore similarities to last year's assault on a hotel and cafe in the capital by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb that killed 30 people and wounded more than 70.

Ansarul Islam is active in northern Burkina Faso and has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks, including one that killed 12 soldiers in December.