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Two deadly attacks in Ouagadougou

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On 2 March, Ouagadougou once again experienced two deadly attacks. A vehicule packed with explosives was placed in front of the army’s headquarters and a group of jihadists attacked the area around the French Embassy. According to the Burkinabé Ministry of Security’s official report, eight Burkinabe soldiers were killed in the attacks and about 80 people, including some civilians, were injured. Eight of the attackers were killed as security forces tried to regain control of the situation. Some of the attackers were wearing Burkinabe army uniforms. According to the Mauritanian news agency Alakhbar, Nusrat Islam wal-Muslimin, an AQMI affiliate, claimed responsibility for the attacks. These events coincided with a meeting about the G5 Sahel force, which had to be relocated to a different setting at the last minute. While a large number of security incidents are regularly reported in the north of Burkina Faso, this is the third attack that has hit the capital city within the past two years. On 15 January 2016, terrorists attacked a hotel and a restaurant in the city center, killing 30 people. On 13 August 2017, an attack on a restaurant on the capital’s main avenue, killed 19 people. Security conditions have now been strengthend within the capital city and security forces patrol potential targets. However, the attacks have deeply affected the people of Ouagadougou who mourn their victims and stay away from nightclubs, popular restaurants and public gatherings.