Jihadists kill 24 soldiers in Burkina Faso

About two dozen civilians and a similar number of policemen or soldiers have been killed over the last 10 days

Twenty-four soldiers have been killed as violence surges in Burkina Faso, 13 in a suspected jihadist ambush and 11 after a roadside bomb exploded, the army said.

The soldiers were killed Sunday in the sixth and seventh attacks of their kind in the landlocked West African nation in under two weeks.

An armed forces communique late Tuesday said that in a “complex attack” around Napade in the eastern region on Sunday 11 soldiers had died.

To the south of Natiaboani, close to the border with Togo and Ghana, “a security forces vehicle… hit an improvised explosive device (IED),” a security source had told AFP.

The source had on Monday given a provisional toll of five dead.

The army had also reported 13 killed Sunday during a security operation in the east near Natiaboani.

The army said during the “intense” operation 35 “terrorists” had been killed.

The rural community of Natiaboani lies 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Fada N’Gourma, the largest town in the Eastern Region that since 2018 has been regularly targeted by armed groups. 

Violence has flared again in Burkina Faso after a period of relative calm after a military junta took power in January.

Disgruntled officers toppled elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore after protests over his handling of the bloody insurgency.

More than 60 civilians,  policemen or soldiers have been killed over the last 10 days.

Burkina Faso has been struggling with jihadist attacks since 2015, when militants linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group began mounting cross-border raids from Mali.

The violence has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced at least 1.7 million, according to an AFP tally.


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