A government minister says at least 10 bodies have been found inside a cafe that was attacked by the same al-Qaida militants who seized an upscale hotel in the capital about 10 hours ago.

Heavy gunfire, meanwhile, has erupted again early Saturday as French and Burkinabe forces worked to free an unknown number of hostages still held inside. Already some 33 people have made it to safety amid a siege launched by at least four gunmen.

Internal Affairs Minister Simon Compaore said the bodies are inside the Cappuccino Cafe, a restaurant that is located next to the Splendid Hotel.

The al-Qaida affiliate AQIM has claimed responsibility for the attack launched Friday evening. The same group was behind a similar assault on a hotel in Bamako, Mali back in November.