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Al-Qaeda names Burkina Faso hotel attackers

Al-Qaeda names Burkina Faso hotel attackers

Burkina Faso

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has published names and images of three militants who it says carried out last week’s hotel attack in Burkina Faso, killing 29 people.

AQIM’s statement, carried by monitoring group SITE, said Friday’s operation in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou followed an “effort to target the nests of the Crusaders who steal our fortunes and attack our holy places.”

The Islamists also claimed that the four-star Splendid Hotel was a “den of global espionage.”

The statement has not been independently verified.

AQIM is based in the Sahara Desert between Mali, Niger and Algeria and has attacked West African countries.
This was its first attack on Burkina Faso.

In its statement, AQIM published photographs of three men wearing military uniforms and holding guns, naming them as Battar al-Ansari, Abu Muhammad al-Buqali al-Ansari and Ahmed al-Fulani al-Ansari.

AQIM earlier said the gunmen were from jihadist group al-Murabitoun of Algeria’s militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

At least three attackers died in the assaults, officials say.

However, some witnesses were quoted as saying that they saw more than three gunmen.

The streets of Ouagadougou were unusually quiet on Monday in a country unaccustomed to the frequent jihadist attacks that have plagued its Western neighbor Mali.

AQIM also claimed a similar attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako in November that killed 20 people.

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