A Turkish restaurant came under attack late on Sunday as heavy gunfire erupted in the capital of Burkina Faso, which has seen a surge in violence by armed groups over the past few years.

Security forces were at the scene with armoured vehicles, as reports of shots fired near an upscale restaurant in Ouagadougou.

At least two people including one foreigner were wounded in the attack, said an AFP journalist.

Witnesses said that three armed men arrived in a 4×4 at around 9:30 pm (21:00 GMT) and opened fire on customers seated outside the cafe.

Police and army arrived at the scene and sporadic gunfire could be heard into the night, the AFP journalist said.

Police spokesman Guy Ye told The Associated Press the target of the attack was a Turkish restaurant known as Aziz Istanbul. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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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 armed groups.

A January 2016 attack at a cafe left 30 people dead.

The three attackers in the 2016 massacre were of foreign origin, according to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which claimed responsibility in the aftermath along with the armed group known as Al Mourabitoun.

But the terror threat in Burkina Faso is increasingly homegrown, experts say.

The northern border region is now the home of a local preacher, Ibrahim Malam Dicko, who radicalised and has claimed recent deadly attacks against troops and civilians. His association, Ansarul Islam, is now considered a “terrorist group” by Burkina Faso’s government.




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Source: News agencies



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