The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

oua­gadougou, burk­ina faso » Al- Qaeda ter­ror­ists late Fri­day struck an up­scale ho­tel and nearby cafe that are pop­u­lar with­Western­ers in Burk­ina Faso’s cap­i­tal, tak­ing an un­known num­ber of hostages and forc­ing oth­ers to hide as gun­fire and ex­plo­sions rang out. TheWest African coun­try’s troops, backed by French forces, were still try­ing to re­take con­trol of the build­ing eight hours later.

It was not im­me­di­ately known how many peo­ple may have been killed dur­ing the siege, al­though a sur­vivor told hos­pi­tal di­rec­tor Robert San­gare he es­ti­mated the toll could be as high as 20. At least 15 other peo­ple were se­ri­ously wounded by bul­lets and un­der­go­ing treat­ment at the Yal­gado Oue­draogo hos­pi­tal, he said.

The lo­cal al- Qaeda af­fil­i­ate, known as AQIM, claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity on­line as the at­tack was on­go­ing in down­town Oua­gadougou at the 147room Splen­did Ho­tel, ac­cord­ing to the SITE In­tel­li­gence Group.

Penn says in­ter­view “failed.” Ac­tor Sean Penn

said theMex­i­can govern­ment’s as­ser­tions that his in­ter­view with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guz­man led them to the fugi­tive drug king­pin are false and in­tended to make him a po­ten­tial car­tel tar­get.

In an in­ter­view sched­uled to air Sun­day on CBS’s “60 Min­utes,” Penn em­pha­sized that Guz­man’s even­tual cap­ture took place far from the site of their meet­ing. Penn said his in­ter­view with Guz­man was a fail­ure be­cause he wanted it to start a con­ver­sa­tion about the war on drugs.

“I have a re­gret that the en­tire dis­cus­sion about this ar­ti­cle ig­nores its pur­pose, which was to con­trib­ute to this dis­cus­sion about the pol­icy in the war on drugs,” Penn said, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of the in­ter­view with Char­lie Rose.

“Let me be clear. My ar­ti­cle has failed.”

Ex- CIA op­er­a­tive: No “stand down” or­der at Beng­hazi B

wash­ing­ton » It is the most fate­ful mo­ment in a movie that pur­ports to present a sear­ingly ac­cu­rate ac­count of the 2012 at­tacks that left four Amer­i­cans dead in Beng­hazi, Libya: a scene in which the high­est- rank­ing CIA op­er­a­tive at a se­cret agency com­pound or­ders his se­cu­rity team to “stand down” rather than rush off to res­cue U. S. di­plo­mats un­der siege less than a mile away.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cer in charge of the CIA’s Beng­hazi base that night, the scene in the movie is en­tirely un­true.

“There never was a stand- down or­der,” said the base chief known as Bob, speak­ing pub­licly for the first time. “At no time did I ever se­cond- guess that the team would de­part.”

Nor, he said, did he say

Michi­gan seeks fed­eral aid for Flint B

detroit » The needs of Flint, Mich., “far ex­ceed the state’s ca­pa­bil­ity,” Gov. Rick Sny­der said in a re­quest for a fed­eral disas­ter dec­la­ra­tion and mil­lions of dol­lars that could pay for clean wa­ter, fil­ters and car­tridges for res­i­dents whose wa­ter sys­tem has been con­tam­i­nated by lead.

Sny­der’s let­ter to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama paints a bleak pic­ture of the trou­bled city, de­scrib­ing Flint as an “im­pov­er­ished area” that has been over­whelmed by the re­lease of lead from old pipes— the re­sult of us­ing the Flint River as the city’s drink­ing wa­ter for 18 months.

Code Talker, 92, dies in Utah B

salt lake city » A Navajo man who helped stump the Ja­panese dur­ing WorldWar II us­ing a code based on his na­tive lan­guage has died in sub­ur­ban Salt Lake City.

Ernest Yazhe’s daugh­ter Melissa said her 92- yearold father died of re­nal fail­ure Tues­day.

Yazhe joined the Marines when he was 19 and be­came one of the hun­dreds of Code Talk­ers who played a vi­tal com­bat role by trans­mit­ting bat­tle­field mes­sages in an un­break­able Navajo- based ra­dio code.

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