Four members of a Ukrainian family, including a nine-year-old child, were among those killed when al-Qaeda fighters attacked a cafe and hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou, Ukraine’s foreign minister said yesterday.
The dead included a Ukrainian woman who together with her Italian husband owned the cafe, and their child, foreign ministry spokesman Yevgeny Ignatovskysaid.
He gave no further details. Nor did foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, who used Twitter to report the deaths of four family members, including the nine-year-old child.
The Italian foreign ministry said that the nine-year-old son of Gaetano Santomenna, the Italian owner of Cafe Cappuccino, was with his mother when the attack took place, but it had no confirmation that the boy had been killed.
Ukrainian websites identified the other two Ukrainian victims as the sister and mother of the cafe owner’s wife.
Friday’s attacks left 28 people dead from 18 different countries, including six Canadians, five from Burkina Faso, two people each from Switzerland and France and one American.
Yesterday Burkina Faso began three days of national mourning and the president said security would be stepped up in the capital.
In a message to the nation, president Roch Marc Christian Kabore said the people of Burkina Faso must unite in the fight against terrorism. He also announced on national broadcaster, Burkina 24, that security forces would be stepping up their efforts to thwart future attacks and asked people to comply with the new restrictions.
“These truly barbaric criminal acts carried out against innocent people, claimed by the criminal organisation al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) seek to destabilize our country and its republican institutions, and to undermine efforts to build a democratic, quiet and prosperous nation,” said Kabore.