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Burkina Faso’s former president Blaise Compaoré, sentenced in absentia to life in jail for the 1987 assassination of revolutionary icon Thomas Sankara, apologized to the ex-leader’s family on Tuesday. Compaoré seized power in the West African nation in a 1987 coup that toppled and killed serving leader Sankara. A Burkina court handed him a life term in absentia in April for his role in the assassination.

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