The bloodiest terror attack West Africa has experienced in recent times was a shock, but not surprising. Three years ago, I lived in Burkina Faso’s peaceful and relaxed capital, Ouagadougou, where it wasn’t rare to hear talk about the possibility of a large-scale atrocity as Islamist groups rampaged through neighboring Mali.
On Jan. 15, three assailants detonated two car bombs along the city’s central Avenue Kwame Nkrumah, before spraying the Café Cappuchino — a stylish hangout popular with wealthy Westerners and Burkinabé — with bullets. The attackers then moved on to the upscale Splendid Hotel across the street and took hostages.
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