Explosions, gunfire rock Burkina Faso’s capital

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Explosions and gunfire have been heard near government buildings and the army headquarters in the capital of Burkina Faso, witnesses and officials say. Only few details were immediately available.

The incident began at about 10:15 a.m. local time on Friday when gunfire and blasts were heard in the downtown area of Ouagadougou. Witnesses told AFP that armed men were seen getting out of a car and opening fire.

Burkina Faso’s national police said an “armed attack is currently underway” in the city area. It said attacks were reported near the prime minister’s office and the United Nations roundabout. It is near the French embassy and the army headquarters.

There was no immediate word on casualties, but photos from the city showed a black plume of smoke billowing into the sky. It’s unclear what is the exact target of the attack.

“The special units of the defense and security forces are in action,” police said.

Both the U.S. and French embassies have warned their citizens in the area about the attack. “Avoid the area of downtown Ouagadougou. Seek secure shelter. Monitor local media for updates,” the U.S. embassy said.

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