OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) – The Latest on visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Burkina Faso (all times local):
The French presidency’s spokesman says stones have been thrown at a vehicle transporting members of the French delegation accompanying President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Burkina Faso.
Bruno Roger-Petit said on his official Twitter account Macron was meeting with his counterpart, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, when the incident happened.
He said no vehicle was destroyed in the incident and there were not “hundreds of assailants.”
The incident happened as Macron was expected to make his first big speech in Africa in at the University of Ouagadougou, amid threats of demonstrations.
Burkina Faso’s government has ordered schools closed to ease traffic because of the heavy security measures in place during Macron’s visit, though many view the closures as an effort to reduce the threat of student unrest.
Authorities in Burkina Faso say several people have been wounded by a hand grenade aimed at French soldiers just hours before the French president arrived in the West African country.
Eyewitnesses say two people on a motorcycle threw the grenade late Monday in a neighborhood of the capital, Ouagadougou. The assailants missed their intended target – a bus carrying members of the French military.
However, police said Tuesday that several others were hurt.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived later Monday evening for a visit to Burkina Faso. He will head to a European-African summit in Ivory Coast Wednesday.
Burkina Faso has been battling a surge in violence blamed on Islamic extremists. The violence has included two attacks on restaurants popular with foreigners, including one in August that killed 18 people.
AP journalists Brahima Ouedraogo in Ouagadougou and Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this series.