Ghanaians living in Paga – a northern border town between Ghana and Burkina Faso – have expressed fears that the recent al-Qaeda attacks on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou, could spill over into Ghana.
Some of them told Class News’ Upper East regional correspondent William Jalula in an interview that “they are terrorists, so… we are afraid. This is not the first time. They went to Mali and now they are in Burkina Faso,” adding “we fear” that soon they will enter Ghana, since the borders are porous.
Security forces in Burkina Faso retook the hotel on Saturday, a day after al-Qaeda fighters seized it in an assault that killed at least 28 people from at least 18 countries.
The attack on the landlocked nation, which has been an ally of Western governments in the fight against jihadist groups in the arid reaches of the southern Sahara, follows a similar raid in November on a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako which killed 20 people, including citizens of Russia, China and the United States.
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said 28 people were killed in the 146-room Splendid Hotel, in the Cappuccino restaurant across the street and at a second nearby hotel, the Hotel Yibi, according to an initial death toll.
Speaking on state-run television, Kabore said 156 hostages had been freed by the security operation to retake the area, while around 50 civilians had been wounded. Four members of the security forces, including one French soldier were also wounded.
“Faced with these terrorists and their vile acts, we must mobilize to ensure the appropriate response to put them out of action,” Kabore said.
“We will emerge victorious from this war, which has been imposed upon our people and all other people of the world who want peace and freedom,” he said, adding that the nation would observe three days of mourning from Sunday.