Canadian Humanitarian Workers Among Those Killed In Burkina
By Metro News. January 17, 2016. With files from La Presse and The Canadian Press
There were 28 people of 18 nationalities killed and 56 others wounded after a 15-hour siege that ended Saturday night at a hotel popular with international business travellers on the busy Avenue Kwame Nkrumah in the city’s centre. Six Canadian humanitarian workers from Quebec were among those killed in an attack by Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.
The Canadians were: Yves Carrier; his daughter Maude; his wife, Gladys Chamberland; their son Charlélie, and their friends Louis Chabot and Suzanne Bernier, all residents of Quebec, La Presse reported.
Global Affairs Canada released a statement extending condolences to the family and friends of those killed in the attack.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those killed in yesterday’s attack in Ouagadougou, among them Canadian aid workers and volunteers, and wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” said the statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion and Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also condemned the attacks in a statement Saturday night, and offered his condolences to the affected families.
“There can be no justification for such a gratuitous and cowardly act,” he said.
Carrier and his family members and friends worked with a Catholic organization and the Centre Amitié de Solidarité Internationale de la Région des Appalaches.
They had been celebrating the three weeks of work they had done repainting blackboards for a school in a remote Burkinabe village. Three members of the group were to have left for Canada with the others following next week.
The humanitarian workers headed to Africa just before Christmas after months of preparation, organization and fundraising activities in Quebec, such as spaghetti dinners and calendar sales.
“We don’t know what they were doing” in that restaurant, said Camille Carrier, Maude’s mother. “They’re not the kind of places they usually went to. We think they went there to eat or grab a drink to celebrate the end of their trip.”
“It’s so stupid. They went there to do good and just as they were going to come back, they get killed.”
The statement from Ottawa said Canadian officials are working with local authorities and are providing consular services to the families.
Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault said: “It is a tragedy that overwhelms us all.”
Responsibility for that attack was also claimed by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group linked to the larger terrorist organization Al Qaeda.
It also follows recent incidents in the northern region of Burkina Faso, near its border with Mali. An Australian doctor and his wife were kidnapped in a separate incident Friday night, The Associated Press reported.
Source: Metro News
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