AFP | 3 hours ago

OUAGADOUGOUA – About 10 people, including five soldiers, died on Sunday in an attack on a military unit in northern Burkina Faso, security sources and a local official said.

“This morning around 5:00 am (0500 GMT) the military detachment of Gaskinde, in the province of Soum… was the target of an attack by armed terrorist groups which resulted in the death of around 10 people, including five soldiers,” a security source told AFP.

The source said the other victims were civilians. A local official confirmed the attack, including the “death of four civilians”.

Other soldiers were injured and significant material damage was reported, the security source added.

Jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have regularly carried out attacks in northern and eastern Burkina Faso since 2015, killing more than 2,000 people and displacing almost two million.

Unrest linked to jihadist groups also plagues Burkina Faso’s West African neighbours Mali and Niger.

Also on Sunday, a jihadist group claimed three separate attacks on army bases in central Mali that killed six and injured 20.

The latest attack in Burkina Faso comes after an incident where 12 soldiers and four civilian auxiliaries were killed on April 8.

Anger at the government’s perceived mishandling of the insurgency was used by the army as a justification for a military coup that ousted former president Roch Marc Christian Kabore in January.

New leader Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba has said Burkina Faso’s security situation is his priority, but attacks in recent weeks have killed more than 100 people.

The new head of state earlier this month announced the creation of local committees made up of religious leaders and traditional chiefs to initiate dialogue with jihadist groups in a bid to stem the violence.

But the state does not negotiate directly with the fighters and continues its military operations against them.

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