Burkina Faso attack: Devastating news of deaths of Amnesty workers

It is with great sadness that Amnesty International has learned of the tragic deaths of its photographer Leila Alaoui and driver Mahamadi Ouédraogo, as a result of the Al Qaeda attack in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ougadougou, on Friday.

Leila - a talented French-Moroccan photographer who was on an photographic assignment for Amnesty focusing on women's rights - was shot twice, in the leg and thorax, and was quickly taken to hospital. She was initially in a stable condition following an operation, and a medical evacuation was being prepared when she suffered a fatal heart attack.

Mahamadi - a father of four and a great friend to Amnesty having accompanied staff and consultants on missions in the country since 2008 – was killed in his car. Our thoughts are with his wife, children and family.

Amnesty’s absolute priority is to ensure the best possible support for Mahamadi and Leila's families. The organisation’s representatives are at the hospital liaising with their families, doctors and all necessary officials.

Mahamadi and Leila were parked outside the Cappucino cafe, opposite the Hotel Splendid, when the attack occurred.

Amnesty condemns the vicious attack on civilians in Ouagadougou, in which dozens of people of many nationalities and faiths were killed and injured.

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