Armed terrorists kill 15 Burkina Faso traders in a renewed onslaught
London, May 31, 2020 (AltAfrica)-At least 15 people were killed in northern Burkina Faso in an attack on a convoy transporting traders in a town in northern Burkina Faso on Friday, the government said on Saturday.
“The provisional toll mentions 15 dead, wounded and people missing as well as significant material damage,” said Burkina Faso‘s Communications Minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou.
The attack in Loroum province, Dandjinou added, was carried out by “armed terrorists”, shorthand for jihadists.
“Military reinforcements were deployed and searches are under way,” he said.
The victims were mainly traders who came from Titao, around 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of the capital, Ouagadougou, when their vehicles were intercepted by “armed individuals”, a Titao resident said.
He added the attack occurred around 5pm local time Friday.
“The lorries were escorted by ‘koglweogo’ (local self-defence members) who were among the casualties,” the resident said on condition of anonymity.
He said “at least four women” were among the dead and that two lorries were burned.
In January, nine shopkeepers were killed and a vehicle torched along the same road.
Burkina Faso’s armed forces are leading counter-terror operations with increasing frequency.
The impoverished Sahel country is part of a regional effort to battle an Islamist insurgency, along with Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad.
Their militaries, under-equipped and poorly trained, are struggling despite help from France, which has 5,000 troops in the region.
Unrest in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger killed around 4,000 people last year, according to UN figures.
On Thursday, Burkina Faso’s armed forces said troops destroyed a militant camp in another province in the north of the country. It said 10 assailants and a soldier died during the operation.
In the first joint operation between two countries, troops from Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast recently took out an Islamic jihadist military base in Alidougou in southern Burkina Faso. The attack was part of Operation “Comoe,” an ongoing effort to stop the spread of Islamic terror that is gripping the region.
Operation “Comoe” is named after a river that separates the two African countries. It was launched earlier in May.
Soldiers killed eight suspected militants and arrested 38 others, 14 in Ivory Coast and 24 in Burkina Faso, according to a statement released by the Ivory Coast’s military.
In addition, the joint counter-terrorism operation, supported by helicopter gunships, succeeded in seizing automatic weapons, ammunition, motorcycles, and mobile phones. The statement praised the “perfect coordination between the two armies.”
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)