2 Canadians among 18 killed in Burkina Faso attack
Assailants arrived on motorcycles, shot randomly at restaurant crowd
Two Canadians are among 18 people killed in a suspected extremist attack on a popular restaurant in the capital of the West African country of Burkina Faso.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed the two Canadians died after gunmen stormed the restaurant in Ouagadougou on Sunday evening.
"The heartfelt condolences of our government go out to the loved ones of those targeted and the victims in this tragic attack," Freeland said during a news conference in Ottawa on Monday.
CBC News confirmed one of the Canadian victims is Tammy Chen from Ontario. The second victim has not yet been identified.
Burkina Faso's Foreign Ministry earlier said other foreigners among the victims include two Kuwaitis, and one person each from France, Senegal, Nigeria, Lebanon and Turkey. Seven Burkina Faso citizens were killed.
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The assailants arrived at the restaurant on motorcycles and began shooting randomly at the crowds dining Sunday evening.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which continued into the early hours Monday. Gunfire could be heard almost seven hours after the attack began.
Security forces arrived at the scene with armoured vehicles after reports of shots fired near the upscale Aziz Istanbul restaurant. The attack brought back painful memories of the January 2016 attack at another café that left 30 people dead.
The landlocked nation of Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. It shares a northern border with Mali, which has long battled Islamic extremists.
The three attackers in the 2016 massacre were of foreign origin, according to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which claimed responsibility in the aftermath along with the jihadist group known as Al Mourabitoun. But the terror threat in Burkina Faso is increasingly homegrown, experts say.
The northern border region is now the home of a local preacher, Ibrahim Malam Dicko, who radicalized and has claimed recent deadly attacks against troops and civilians. His association, Ansarul Islam, is now considered a terrorist group by Burkina Faso's government.
With files from CBC News