World News

Six Canadians killed in Burkina Faso attack, PM Trudeau says

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Six Canadian citizens were killed when gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital city of Burkina Faso on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all those killed,” Trudeau said in a statement. “We have offered assistance to the Burkinabe authorities in their investigation of this terrible crime.”

The federal government did not identify the six Canadians.

But the Quebec government confirmed the six people killed were from the French-speaking Canadian province.

In a statement published Saturday, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard condemned the attacks.

“Nothing can explain such cowardly and gratuitous acts,” Couillard said in the statement. “These odious acts remind us that we can never compromise on our values of liberty, democracy and tolerance.”

A government source, who spoke on condition that his name not be published, said some of the six were humanitarian workers.

Security forces in Burkina Faso retook a hotel in the capital on Saturday a day after al Qaeda fighters seized it in an assault that killed at least 28 people from at least 18 countries and marked a major escalation of Islamist militancy in West Africa.

Additional reporting and writing by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Mary Milliken and Kim Coghill