On Friday evening, al-Qaida extremists stormed a popular hotel in the downtown capital of Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa. Militants set off car bombs outside the Splendid Hotel, frequented by United Nations staffers and westerners according to AFP, before barging inside and taking hostages.
Burkinabe soldiers coordinated with French special forces to end the standoff which lasted until early Saturday morning. BBC reports that about 30 hostages had been freed, while 20 (including 14 foreigners) were confirmed dead. Per the Associated Press, the hotel caught fire after explosives were used to enter the building and rescue the captives.
BREAKING: Witnesses: Burkina Faso hotel attacked by al-Qaida militants catches fire after commandos use explosives to storm building.— The Associated Press (@AP) January 16, 2016
A message from the group’s "Muslim Africa" Telegram account says they "broke into a restaurant of one of the biggest hotels in the capital of Burkina Faso, and are now entrenched and the clashes are continuing with the enemies of the religion."
10 bodies were also found at a nearby café. This story is still developing.