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20 killed in Burkina Faso cafe attack

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Suspected jihadists killed at least 20 people and wounded eight during a raid on a restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital, the communications minister said, as security forces sought to free people still trapped inside on Monday.

A Reuters witness saw customers running out of the Aziz Istanbul restaurant in central Ouagadougou as police and paramilitary gendarmerie surrounded it amid gunfire.

“This is a terrorist attack,” Communications Minister Remi Dandjinou told a news conference. He said the toll was provisional because the security operation was still underway.

Burkina Faso security forces killed three suspected jihadists but there were still people trapped inside the building, he said later on state TV.

A woman said she was in the restaurant celebrating her brother’s birthday when the shooting started.

Burkina Faso, like other countries in West Africa, has been targeted sporadically by jihadist groups operating across Africa’s Sahel. Most attacks have been along its remote northern border region with Mali, which has seen attacks by Islamist militants for more than a decade.

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