The mother-in-law of an American missionary killed in a terror attack on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso has described him as “extremely well loved and respected”.
Michael Riddering was one of 28 people from 18 different nationalities who were killed in the attack in the capital Ouagadougou which turned into a 12-hour siege starting on Friday evening.
Four assailants stormed the four-star Splendid Hotel and nearby Cappuccino Cafe late on Friday night, detonating bombs that set surrounding cars on fire in an attack which was said to be targeting “white people”.
Simon Compaore, the interior minister, said the siege was lifted at around 8am local time on Saturday, with 126 people rescued and all three attackers dead.
Mr Riddering’s mother-in-law Carol Boyle said he had gone to the cafe to see a group which was planning to volunteer at the orphanage and women’s crisis centre he ran with his wife, Amy Boyle-Riddering.
The couple - originally from Cooper City in Florida - first moved to the town of Yako in the north west of the country in 2011 to run Les Ailes de Refuge (Sheltered Wings) orphanage .
She said: "He was extremely well loved and respected. He wasn't a hypocrite, he wasn't a two-face. He had his guiding light, and he followed it."
John Anderson, a Sheltered Wings board member, said Mr Riddering was "a wonderful godly man" who would also help other voluntary organisations dig wells for local residents.
He described how during the Ebola crisis Mr Riddering volunteered to dug graves when others were too afraid.
Mr Anderson said: "During the Ebola crisis, when it was hard to find people to do the digging, Mike would go out and join them so they could continue doing the work.
"And that's backbreaking work. He never stopped moving and never stopped helping."
Mr Riddering had four children - two of whom were adopted from Burkina Faso.
Survivors described how the militants were targeting foreign "white people” during the siege with one woman saying: "They kept coming back and forth into Cappuccino. You'd think it was over, then they'd come back and shoot more people.
Burkina Faso hotel attack - in pictures
Burkina Faso hotel attack - in pictures
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Vehicles burn outside the Splendid Hotel
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The scene of an attack on a hotel, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso soldiers evacuate an injured man (3rd L) from the Splendid hotel during an attack on both the hotel and a restaurant by Al-Qaeda linked gunmen late on January 15, 2016.
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French troops gather by the Labour Ministry building in the surroundings of the Splendid hotel during an attack on both the hotel and a restaurant by Al-Qaeda linked gunmen on January 15, 2016.
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French soldiers take position in the surroundings of the Splendid hotel and a restaurant during an attack on both the hotel and restaurant by Al-Qaeda linked gunmen early on January 16, 2016.
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Paramedics tend to a wounded man in the surrounding of the hotel Splendide and the cafe Cappuccino during the attack on January 15, 2016.
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French first responders tend to wounded people in the surrounding of the hotel Splendide and the cafÈ Cappuccino during the attack on January 15, 2016.
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A Burkinabe soldier looks out from behind a wall before A counter-assault on Islamist gunmen at the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, January 16, 2016.
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Army forces drive near Hotel Splendid where the attackers remain with sporadic gunfire continuing in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou on Jnauary 15, 2016.
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French and US soldiers gather before launching a counter-assault on Islamist gunmen at the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, January 16, 2016.
"They would come back and see if the white people were moving and then they would shoot them again."
Six Canadians, two French, two Swiss, two Italians, four Ukrainians, five Burkinabes, a 67-year-old Dutch man and American Mr Riddering have been confirmed to be among the dead.
The nine-year-old son of the cafe owner is confirmed to be among the dead.
Terror group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for attack saying it was "revenge against France and the disbelieving West".
The attack was the deadliest assault in the region since the attack on a hotel in Bamako in neighbouring Mali in November which killed 20 people.
France first began operations in northern Mali in January 2013 to defeat Islamist militants at the Malian government’s request.
Additional reporting by agenciesReuse content