OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says two Canadians were among 18 people killed in a suspected extremist attack on a popular restaurant in Burkina Faso.
The incident happened late Sunday when suspected Islamic extremists opened fire at a Turkish restaurant in the country’s capital.
“It is with very great sorrow that I can confirm the deaths of two Canadians in yesterday’s attack in Burkina Faso,” Freeland said on Monday.
“The heartfelt condolences of our government go out to the loved ones of those targeted and the victims of this tragic attack. Canadian consular officials are working hard to provide assistance to their loved ones.”
Local authorities say other foreigners killed include two Kuwaitis and one person each from France, Senegal, Nigeria, Lebanon and Turkey.
Seven Burkina Faso citizens were also killed and authorities said three other victims had not yet been identified.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which continued into the early hours Monday.
At least three members of Burkina Faso’s security forces were wounded during the assault, said Capt. Guy Ye, spokesman of the security forces.
The assailants arrived at the restaurant on motorcycles and then began shooting randomly at the crowds dining Sunday evening, he said. Security forces arrived at the scene with armoured vehicles after reports of shots fired near Aziz Istanbul.
The attack brought back painful memories of the January 2016 attack at another cafe that left 30 people dead.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation in West Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. It shares a northern border with Mali, which has long battled Islamic extremists.
— with files from the Associated Press.