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Just two weeks into the new year and the terrorist acts continue to reek havoc around the world.

According to officials in Burkina Faso, at least 23 people were killed and 126 others held hostage for hours in a fiery attack on a tourist hotel by al Qaeda-linked militants, including two female jihadis.

Local forces backed by French gendarmes battled to take back Hotel Splendid as gunfire could still be heard around the area in the capital, Ouagadougou. The assault began Friday night when attackers fired into a nearby café.

The State Department revealed to NBC News they were trying to establish if any Americans were caught up in the assault in which four extremists were killed (one of whom was eventually found at another nearby hotel) and 126 hostages were held.

The hostages are now free after the morning call to prayer echoed across the city. One of the survivors of the attacks revealed, “We had just placed our meal orders in Cafe Cappuccino and around fifteen minutes later we heard gunshots.

They started to shoot at everyone. We dropped to the ground and as soon as anyone raised their heads they fired at them immediately. We had to play dead. They shook people by the foot to see if they were alive or not, and, if they were alive, they shot them.”

Al Queda claimed responsibility for the assault while The U.S. Embassy condemned the attack, describing it as a ” senseless assault on innocent people,” CNN reports.

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Source: NBC, CNN | PHOTO/VIDEO CREDIT: Instagram, Inform

23 People Dead And 126 Hostages Freed Following The Burkina Faso Attack, Al Queda Claims Responsibility  was originally published on