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Burkina Faso hotel attacked by al-Qaida catches fire

January 15, 2016 5:31 P.M.
In this grab taken from video by Associate Press Television, the scene of an attack on a hotel, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Attackers struck an upscale hotel popular with Westerners in Burkina Faso's capital late Friday, fueling the recent political turmoil in the West African country. Three hours later, gunfire could still be heard as soldiers in an armored vehicle finally approached the area. (AP Television)

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Witnesses say the upscale hotel in Burkina Faso's capital that has been attacked by al-Qaida militants has now caught fire. The blaze began after commandos trying to free an unknown number of hostages used explosives to enter the building.

Security forces stormed the building more than five hours after it was attacked by jihadists. A fire then broke out in the hall of the Splendid Hotel, and the flames then began spreading inside and out.

Several cars outside the hotel also were engulfed in flames after the attackers set them on fire when they launched their assault.

It was not immediately known how many people may have been killed during the siege, though a survivor told hospital director Robert Sangare he estimated the toll could be as high as 20.

Brahima Ouedraogo, The Associated Press

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