US & Canada

Burkina Faso attack: Canada mourns six dead

Maude Carrier Image copyright family handout
Image caption Maude Carrier said on Facebook she loved her work in Africa

Six Canadians killed by Islamist militants in Burkina Faso were doing humanitarian work, according to Canadian media.

A hotel attack by gunman in Ouagadougou left 29 people dead at the weekend.

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

CBC News reports they included a family of four who were in Africa to help build a school, on behalf of a religious group.

Gladys Chamberland, Yves Carrier and their adult children Charlelie and Maude left their home in Lac-Beauport, Quebec, in December to head to Africa, says CBC.

They were working on behalf of the Congregation des sœurs de Notre-Dame du Perpetuel Secours.

Louis Chabot and Suzanne Bernier were on the same humanitarian mission and also killed during the attacks.

Sister Yolande Blier, a representative of the Quebec-City religious community that helped organise the trip, told CTV News that Yves Carrier and Gladys Chamberland had made several trips to the region.

"I think they fell in love with Burkina Faso," she said. "They loved the values of the Burkinabe, they loved the welcome there."

A statement issued by Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs offered condolences to the bereaved and condemned the killings.

Image copyright family handout
Image caption Gladys Chamberland was described as a passionate humanitarian

On Monday, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) named the three militants who it says carried out the attack.

This was AQIM's first attack in Burkina Faso. It is based in the Sahara Desert between Mali, Niger and Algeria.

At least three attackers died in the assaults, officials say.

Forensic experts from France and Burkina Faso were on Monday sifting through the wreckage of the hotel for clues about the attack.

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