Burkina Faso detains, questions several people after attack

Several people have been detained and are being questioned in connection with the weekend attack on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso's capital that killed about 30 people, the country's security minister said Tuesday.

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Several people have been detained and are being questioned in connection with the weekend attack on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso’s capital that killed about 30 people, the country’s security minister said Tuesday.

Minister of Security Simon Compaore would not give details, citing an ongoing investigation.

He and Foreign Affairs Minister Alpha Barry also met with diplomats, reassuring them that Burkina Faso will remain a safe place despite the attack by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Patrols and check points have been set up on main roads around the country, and security personnel has been increased, especially in areas of the country where there are foreigners, Compaore said.

“We want to reassure the people that live on our soil that foreigners can continue to come to our country, and to invest in our country, because we are ahead on this and we continue to march forward,” Compaore said.

Barry said that despite attacks, Burkina Faso will prevail.

“These criminal acts have been claimed by AQIM, which, with their allies want to control the Sahel,” he said. “Burkina Faso is determined to overcome this but is aware that it cannot do that alone, without the support of all.”

Barry cited the success of international co-operation during the attack that began Friday and ended Saturday after Burkina Faso and French forces killed three attackers.

Mali has already agreed to shared intelligence and joint border patrols.

Amnesty International said Tuesday that a French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui and Burkina Faso driver Mahamadi Ouedraogo were among those who died.

Alaoui was being treated in a hospital after being shot twice, and suffered a heart attack while awaiting medical evacuation. She was in Burkina Faso for a photography assignment on women’s rights, the organization said.

Ouedraogo, a husband and father of four, was killed in his car, Amnesty International said. He had accompanied staff and consultants on missions in Burkina Faso since 2008.

The organization has condemned “the vicious attack on civilians in Ouagadougou, which has killed and injured dozens of people of many nationalities and faiths.”

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