Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in northern Burkina Faso
Suspected jihadists have killed 47 people, including 30 civilians, in an attack on a convoy in northern Burkina Faso, the government said Wednesday.
The assault left 14 soldiers and three militia volunteers dead 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Gorgadji, said the communications ministry.
Gorgadji is in the notorious “three-border” zone where Burkina Faso meets Mali and Niger, a focus of the jihadist violence that plagues the wider Sahel region.
The soldiers and militia had been “guarding civilians setting off for Arbinda”, another town in northern Burkina.
In an ensuing gun battle, security forces killed 58 “terrorists” and put the rest to flight, according to the government.
Wednesday’s was the third attack in the past two weeks against Burkinabe soldiers in which 10 or more people have died, including one on August 4 with a toll of 30 — 11 of them civilians.
Burkina Faso, a poor country in the arid sub-Saharan Sahel region, has been confronted since 2015 with increasingly frequent and deadly attacks by jihadist groups affiliated with the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.
These attacks along with inter-communal violence have left more than 1,400 people dead and forced 1.3 million to flee their homes, according to official estimates.