The local Defense Minister claimed three of the gunmen had been killed. The Splendid Hotel is a popular location for Western officials.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Armed terrorists implemented a terror attack inside a hotel on Saturday night in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, taking hostages and killing at least 23 people. At the end of an overnight rescue operation, 126 of the hostages have been released. Three Islamist gunmen were killed by local security forces. Responsibility for the terror attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda.

At about 11 a.m. on Saturday, after having regained full control of the Splendid Hotel, authorities announced that the incident had ended, except moments later gunshots were heard coming from another hotel. It is still being checked whether a second terror attack had been launched.

The four-star Splendid Hotel is a popular location with Westerners including United Nations staff. One of the released hostages is a minister in Burkina Faso’s government.

According to eye-witnesses, the terrorists surrounded the building and kept shooting in the air and torching vehicles so as to prevent the authorities from reaching it.

A mostly Muslim state, Burkina Faso in West Africa has been going through a transition into democracy. Its longtime ruler, Blaise Compaore, was overthrown in 2014. A coup attempt was made in September, but ended in just one week.