Several dead after gunmen strike French Embassy in Burkina Faso

Masked gunmen attacked multiple sites in the capital of Burkina Faso Friday, including the French Embassy, resulting in the deaths of multiple people — including six attackers, local officials said.

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Officials and witnesses said a carload of gunmen arrived at France’s consulate in Ouagadougou, emerged and began shooting.

Rémi Dandjinou, Burkina Faso’s minister of communication, told CNN the attackers also used an explosive device at a military site. French Embassy officials said a French cultural center also was under attack.

“Attack under way at the French Embassy and French Institute. Stay hidden where you are,” the French Embassy wrote in a Facebook post Friday morning.

Dandjinou said five people were killed the General Staff of the Armed Forces, as well as two attackers. Four attackers and two Burkina Faso security forces died at the embassy.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said local forces brought the attack “under control” at the embassy before gunfire erupted at the military facility.

Dandjinou said there were no known civilian deaths or injuries.

The city’s mayor said the terror attack was carried out by “jihadists” and the French special envoy to Africa’s Sahel region, Jean-March Châtaigner described it as a “terrorist attack.” No one has claimed responsibility for the violence.

By Susan McFarland and Danielle Haynes