What you need to know:
- Meanwhile, Burkina Faso has declared three days of national mourning following the attack, which mirrored another Al-Qaeda attack on a luxury hotel in neighbouring Mali where 20 people were killed, mostly foreigners.
- AQIM said the gunmen were from the Al-Murabitoun group of notorious Algerian extremist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
- French President Francois Hollande led international condemnation of what he described as an “odious and cowardly attack”.
"We didn’t know if we would get out. We tried calling our families, to tell them we weren’t sure we were going to see them again,” said Suzanne Songa-Ouedraogo, her voice trembling as she recalled Friday night’s jihadist attack that killed 29 people in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou.
The Burkinabe artist, one of the survivors of the hours-long assault, was treated on Saturday afternoon at the Yalgado-Ouedraogo hospital for a gunshot wound to the arm.
She lay wounded, bleeding away in the dark for more than seven hours in a meeting room at the Splendid Hotel, one of the attack sites, listening as the assailants shouted and fired their weapons metres away from her.
Lucien Trabi, an arts manager from Cote d’Ivoire was in the al fresco Taxi-Brousse bar across the street from the hotel to have a drink when “five jihadists, two of them women, walked by”.
Though several witnesses have spoken of seeing two women the country’s interior security minister Saturday night denied this to be the case, speaking only of “three men”.
“The landlady said, ‘Why are they dressed like that’. They were wearing gloves and I saw a Kalashnikov. They passed us and went to the Cappuccino cafe (another of the sites attacked). There, suddenly, they started spraying everyone with bullets. Above all they were looking for expats,” Mr Trabi said.
“We hid in an apartment, high up. You could see the jihadists, they were firing away and crying out ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greatest) into the night.”
In the early hours of the morning, once the firing had stopped, Mr Trabi made the mistake of wanting to leave to get some rest, only to come face to face with a jihadist.
“He was young, 19 or something like that. He made a gesture for me to come. I thought it was the end. So I pushed a crate of beer on top of him and fled. He fired - tatatata - and I dived on to the floor.
“I hurt my knee and crawled away. It wasn’t until afterwards I felt I’d been shot” in the back by the shoulder.
“There was blood everywhere,” he said. “Later the Red Cross took us away and, when we went past the Cappuccino, I saw four corpses, two of them white women, it wasn’t pretty. I was lucky,” Mr Trabi recalled.
“Now when I close my eyes I can hear the voice of that bastard jihadist.”
The situation was no less desperate at the hotel, according to Songa-Ouedraogo’s account.
“We heard shots and at first thought it was firecrackers. But then we immediately shut ourselves in a meeting room and switched off the lights.
‘‘They fired, breaking down the door, bursting through and shooting at everyone,” she said. Five of the 14 people there were shot.
“You could hear them (the attackers) speaking in their language. We couldn’t understand, there was firing everywhere. It was a nightmare.”
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso has declared three days of national mourning following the attack, which mirrored another Al-Qaeda attack on a luxury hotel in neighbouring Mali where 20 people were killed, mostly foreigners.
“The Burkinabe nation is in shock,” President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who took office just last month, said in a radio and television address.
“For the first time in its history, our country has fallen victim to a series of barbaric terrorist attacks,” he said, adding that the people of Burkina would nevertheless “emerge victorious”.
A total of 29 people were killed in the attack on the hotel and a nearby restaurant, including six Canadians, two French and two Swiss nationals as well as an American and a citizen of Portugal.
Interior Minister Simon Compaore said the bodies of three “very young” jihadists had been identified, all of them men.
A security source said earlier that at least four attackers had been killed, two of them women.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed the attack on behalf of an affiliate, saying the strike on the former French colony was in “revenge against France and the disbelieving West”, according to a statement carried by US-based monitoring group SITE.
AQIM said the gunmen were from the Al-Murabitoun group of notorious Algerian extremist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
The attack will heighten concerns that jihadist groups are casting their net wider in search of targets in west Africa, two months after the hotel siege in Mali.
The US, which has a small military contingent in Burkina Faso, meanwhile said it supported French forces in the operation to retake the Splendid Hotel.
Several guests managed to escape from the hotel through side entrances, including labour minister Clement Sawadogo, who emerged unscathed.
“It was horrible... there was blood everywhere. They were firing at people at close range,” Yannick Sawadogo, one of those who escaped, told AFP.
“They were walking around people and firing at people who were not dead.”
Mr Campaore told AFP that 10 bodies were discovered on the terrace of the Cappuccino restaurant, which lies next to the hotel.
French President Francois Hollande led international condemnation of what he described as an “odious and cowardly attack”.