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At least 17 dead, eight wounded in Burkina Faso attack

People gather near Ouagadougou's Hotel Splendid in Burkina Faso after a suspected terror attack

Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Aug 14 (UiTV/IANS) - Seventeen persons have been killed and eight wounded in a "terrorist attack" in the centre of the capital of Burkina Faso here, the government said.

Witnesses were quoted as saying that three gunmen on Sunday opened fire on customers seated outside a hotel and restaurant, the BBC reported.

The shooting began shortly after 9 p.m. on Ouagadougou's busy Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.

Two locations, Hotel Bravia and the Aziz Istanbul Restaurant, appear to have been at the centre of the shooting, the BBC said.

"The attack claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, and eight injured," the government statement said. A hospital in the city said that one of those killed was Turkish, the report said.

There are fears that the attack is the work of one of the affiliates of Al Qaeda that are active in the Sahel region, the BBC report said.

The city centre has been sealed off by the Army, and the US Embassy here in the West African nation has warned its citizens to avoid the area.

Police are seen on a street following an attack by gunmen on a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
A jihadist attack on a cafe nearby left 30 people dead in January 2016. Back then the Splendid Hotel and the nearby Cappucino restaurant, also on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, were targeted.

Over 170 people were taken hostage and 30 were killed. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for that attack.

Burkina Faso is part of the Sahel region, which includes Mali where Islamist groups have been active since 2012.