It is was not immediately clear who had carried out the attack but French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said there was no doubt it was an act of terrorism. Burkina Faso police said in a statement that units had fanned out across the city to increase security and urged people to remain vigilant. “We saw four people who were trying to enter the embassy on the east side. They were in civilian attire, with a kind of vest and backpacks with Kalashnikovs which were clearly visible. They tried, but they didn’t manage it and so they tried to enter from the west side. We saw that they had set a car on fire. When we went up [to the roof] we heard gunshots from an automatic weapon, [it was] very intense,” a witness said to media.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged French nationals in the country to follow the embassy’s advice and stay away from troubled areas. Security officials said about a dozen attackers were involved in the two incidents. Video footage showed plumes of black smoke over the city. Burkina Fas is battling jihadi groups. The insurgency has killed thousands of people and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. France has deployed 4,000 troops and is supporting a five-country counterinsurgency force involving Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.