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Former Burkina Faso Olympic Committee President dies in Ouagadougou terror attacks

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Jean Pascal Kinda, the former President of the Burkinabé National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSB), has been named among the victims of the Ouagadougou terror attack that has left at least 29 dead.

The attack began around 7.45pm local time on Friday (January 15) when an unknown number of gunmen stormed the Splendid Hotel in the heart of Burkina Faso’s capital.

Also targeted was the nearby Cappuccino cafe, where Kinda is reported to have been killed at the age of 71.

He served as the President of the CNOSB from 2005 to 2013.

The siege at the hotel was declared over following a joint operation by Burkina Faso troops and French security forces based in the city under a regional counter-terrorism initiative.

Jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claims it carried out the attack in the West African nation, saying the gunmen were from the Al-Murabitoun group of notorious Algerian extremist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Security forces have today been searching for any possible surviving gunmen as it is still not clear how many took part in the onslaught.

Burkina Faso's Interior Minister Simon Compaore said the bodies of three "very young" men have been identified, however, some witnesses reported seeing more.

According to a Government toll, at least 14 foreigners are among the dead including four Canadians, two French nationals, two Portuguese, two Swiss, three Ukrainians and a Dutch person.

A number of hotel guests managed to escape through side entrances, including Labour Minister Clément Sawadogo, who emerged unharmed.

Burkina Faso has declared three days of national mourning following the onslaught, which resembled another Al-Qaeda attack on a luxury hotel in Bamako, capital of neighbouring Mali, that left 20 people dead last November.

The country's President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who took office just last month, says the country is in a state of shock.

"For the first time in its history, our country has fallen victim to a series of barbaric terrorist attacks," he said.

Burkina Faso has never won an Olympic medal despite competing at all seven Summer Games since 1988.

Under its previous name of Upper Volta, the country also participated at the 1972 Games in Munich.

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