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Bar targeted in Burkina jihadist attacks defiantly reopens

01 February 2016, 07:45

Ouagadougou - Two weeks after jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso riddled the Taxi-Brousse bar with bullet holes during an assault in the capital that left 30 dead, the venue has reopened with staff saying they refuse to live in fear.

"I'm raising the decibels to show that they cannot stop us from living, from drinking beer, from having fun!" said DJ Kader Aristide Pare as he spun tunes for a sparse crowd.

The Taxi-Brousse opened its doors again on Saturday after wiping away all traces of the January 15 bloodshed when the bar was caught up in an attack by gunmen on the nearby Splendid hotel and the Cappuccino cafe.

The assault, which was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), shocked the west African country.

"We re-did everything, there were bullets everywhere, blood..." said Fatimata Sawadogo, nicknamed "Tata", one of the bar's managers.

Also Read: Burkina Faso lifts curfew imposed during failed coup

But he had admitted that customers were slow to return to the site of so much horror.

"People are afraid," he said.

"Before, starting at 10:00 pm we were packed. Friday, Saturday even Mondays we were full," Sawadogo said, adding that many people used to come from the Splendid hotel across the road.

On the night of the grand reopening however, the dancefloor remained largely empty despite the DJ's best efforts, and there were more sex workers sitting at the bar than there were customers.

But Angela Ma, a 26-year-old sex worker, said the Taxi-Brousse was a "unique" spot that would survive despite being tainted by tragedy.

"The Taxi-Brousse will remain the Taxi-Brousse no matter what happens," she said.



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