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Ouagadougou: At least 21 people were killed and 15 injured after an Al-Qaida group attacked the Splendid Hotel in this African country capital on Friday, Xinhua reported. The attackers also took hostages at the hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,
According to Xinhua, dozens of hostages have been freed after Burkina Faso security forces launched an assault to recapture the hotel and rescue hostages. Foreigners and Burkina Faso nationals are among the hostages, said the Foreign ministry.
"The security forces have launched an assault against the terrorists. Dozens of hostages freed from the hotel," Burkina Info TV said.
Three heavily armed attackers, wearing ski masks, arrived in two vehicles, said witnesses. Local radio Omega reported earlier that at least 12 hostages had been freed.
SITE Intelligence group, a US-based monitor group, said on its website: "Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed credit for the raid... reporting its execution by the recently-joined al-Murabitoon Battalion."
The Splendid Hotel, not far from the international airport here, often hosts Westerners, including UN staff and journalists, CNN reported.
Gunfire and explosions were heared in the business center of the capital around 7.30 p.m. (1930 GMT). The area around the hotel has been sealed off and a curfew was imposed until 6 a.m. Saturday local time.