SA govt condemns attack on Burkina Faso hotel

At least 23 people were killed in the attack on Ouagadougou’s Splendid Hotel which began on Friday.

A wounded man receives medical care outside the Splendid hotel during an attack on both the hotel and a restaurant by Al-Qaeda linked gunmen late on January 15, 2016 in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso troops supported by French special forces were battling Al-Qaeda linked gunmen in the early hours of January 16 in a Ouagadougou hotel where at least 20 people have been killed. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has joined the global community in condemning the attack in Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou that has claimed the lives of at least 23 people.

The West African nation's security minister says operations to drive al-Qaeda fighters from the hotel have finally ended with 126 hostages freed.

Four attackers have been killed thus far with the fourth attacker shot and killed at a B&B close to the Splendid Hotel.

It's believed two women are among the four assailants killed thus far.

The South African government has condemned the attacks describing them as senseless and cowardly.

Dirco spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said, "We are reiterating our stance as the South African government that terrorism in whatever form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned. South Africa stands firmly with the rest of the international community in its condemnation of this senseless attacks targeting innocent civilians."

Earlier, Burkina Faso's security forces said operations were underway at a second hotel where al-Qaeda forces are believed to be hiding following a hotel raid.

Security Minister Simon Compaore said the dead include victims from 18 different nationalities.

In a message posted online, al-Qaeda militants claimed responsibility for the attack but the country's security forces say a local islamist affiliate may have taken part in the raid.

The Splendid Hotel is popular with Westerners and French soldiers based in Burkina Faso.

A doctor who treated some of those wounded in the attack said they had told him that the attackers appeared to target Westerners.

Meanwhile two Austrian citizens, a doctor and his wife have been kidnapped in northern Burkina Faso near the border with Mail.

The West African nation's security ministry says the kidnapping happened in the Baraboule area.

It's not yet clear whether the abduction is linked to the hotel hostage situation.