President Jacob Zuma has condemned the terrorist attacks at a restaurant and a hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said on Saturday.
"The South African Government joins the international community in strongly condemning the cowardly terrorist attacks that took place at a restaurant and a hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Friday, 15 January, 2016, that resulted in the deaths and injuries of scores of innocent civilians," spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said in a statement.
"On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, H.E President Jacob Zuma has conveyed a message of deepest condolences to H.E President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the Government and people of Burkina Faso, particularly the families of the victims."
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that at least 23 people from 18 countries were killed in an attack by jihadist gunmen on a top hotel and a restaurant in the capital of Burkina Faso, before security forces ended the siege on Saturday and killed four assailants.
126 people freed
A total of 126 people were freed, including 33 wounded, from the four-star Splendid hotel, popular with Westerners and UN personnel, after security forces retook the 147-room facility and the Cappuccino restaurant nearby in the early hours of Saturday, Interior Minister Simon Compaore told AFP.
A security source told the organisation that the attack had been contained by mid-day on Saturday.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was "revenge against France and the disbelieving West", according to a statement carried by US-based monitoring group SITE.
Kgwete said South Africa stood with the rest of the international community in its condemnation of the attacks targeting innocent civilians.
"... Terrorism, in whatever form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned. The South African Embassy in Ouagadougou is closely monitoring developments and will report to Pretoria as soon as information is available on the well-being of any South African citizens," he said.