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  • Burkinabe and Malian officials speak to journalists IN Burkina Faso, January 17, 2016, a day after security forces retook the hotel from al-Qaida fighters.

    Burkinabe and Malian officials speak to journalists IN Burkina Faso, January 17, 2016, a day after security forces retook the hotel from al-Qaida fighters. | Photo: Reuters

Burkina Faso's government has vowed to tighten security, as the country begins three days of mourning.

Burkina Faso began three days of mourning Sunday, after an insurgent attack left at least 28 people dead.

In a televised address, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore called for national unity, and vowed to bolster security.

“These truly barbaric criminal acts carried out against innocent people … seek to destabilize our country … and undermine efforts to build a democratic, quiet and prosperous nation,” he said in a speech carried by Burkina24.

OPINIONReflecting on the Burkina Faso Uprising

As part of efforts to improve security, the government has secured a deal with neighboring Mali to conduct joint border patrols, Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba said.

"There is a very strong political will on the part of the two states to combine our efforts to fight terrorism," he said.

The deal will also include new intelligence sharing, according to the prime minister.

Authorities in Burkina Faso have warned the country's vast shared border with Mali could be used as a transit route for insurgents, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

On Friday, AQIM fighters assaulted a luxury hotel and nearby cafe in the country's capital, Ouagadougou.

Burkinabe and French troops battled the insurgents for close to 12 hours, leaving the hotel in ruins.

AQIM has conducted few major attacks in Burkina Faso in recent years, though the organization has long posed a security risk for neighboring countries. Since 2007, AQIM has been one of the most well funded insurgent groups in the Sahara and Sahel, though most of its major operations have been conducted in Algeria and Mali.


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