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Victims of Burkina Faso Hotel Attack

Nikolai Sorokin / Dollar Photo Club

Victims of Burkina Faso Hotel Attack

At least 23 people have died in an attack on the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso according to CNN.

Gunmen attacked the hotel in the West African nation on Friday night, taking over 100 hostages. The luxury hotel is popular with international visitors and officials confirmed that victims were of at least 18 different nationalities.

Burkina Faso's security forces, assisted by logistics from French and American troops stormed the hotel, freeing most of the hostages. Reports indicate that the attack was well planned.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the assault. The attack was similar to the 2015 attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali, to the north. The group has increased activity in the region amidst political instability.

Burkina Faso held it's first presidential election in November after a civil uprising in 2014 brought an end to President Blaise Compaore's 27-year rule.

Current Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore declared a 72 hour period of national mourning for the victims.

The U.S. Embassy issued a statement condemning the attack, which it described as a "senseless assault on innocent people."

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