By Bloomberg
March 2, 2018

Gunmen attacked the French embassy in the capital of Burkina Faso on Friday, sparking fears of a fresh high-profile Islamist militant raid in the West African nation that has been rocked by violence from jihadist groups based in neighboring Mali.

People watch as black smoke rises as the capital of Burkina Faso came under multiple attacks on March 2, 2018, targeting the French embassy, the French cultural centre and the country's military headquarters. Witnesses said five armed men got out of a car and opened fire on passersby before heading towards the embassy, in the centre of the city. Other witnesses said there was an explosion near the headquarters of the Burkinabe armed forces and the French cultural centre, which are located about a kilometre (half a mile) from the site of the first attack. AHMED OUOBA/AFP/Getty Images
AHMED OUOBA—AFP/Getty Images

The attack on the embassy and the French institute in Ouagadougou was ongoing, the French embassy said on its website, without giving further details. The army has been deployed to the sites where the gunfire broke out, government spokesman Remis Dandjinou said by phone.

There were also reports of fires at several locations in central Ouagadougou, broadcaster Burkina24 reported on its Facebook page, saying the situation was unclear. The U.S. embassy in the city said on its Twitter account it advised residents to seek shelter.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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