Burk­ina Faso foils big at­tack ahead of vote

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

OUAGADOUGOU: Se­cu­rity forces dis­rupted a “large-scale at­tack” in Burk­ina Faso, ar­rest­ing 13 sus­pects and seiz­ing weapons and bomb-making ma­te­ri­als in the west near Mali’s border, the se­cu­rity min­is­ter said yes­ter­day. News of the ar­rests comes two days be­fore the West African na­tion holds elec­tions, cap­ping a tur­bu­lent year that be­gan with a pop­u­lar up­ris­ing in Oct 2014 and a brief, failed coup in Septem­ber. The ar­rests were linked to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of an at­tack on a mil­i­tary po­lice post last month in Samoroguan near the Malian border, Alain Za­gre told state ra­dio. In that at­tack, 50 as­sailants stormed the post, killing three mil­i­tary po­lice of­fi­cers and burn­ing ve­hi­cles be­fore re­treat­ing back to Mali. The 13 sus­pects are from Burk­ina Faso and Mali, Za­gre said, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of the in­volve­ment of ex­trem­ist groups ac­tive in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try. “It was a large-scale at­tack that they were stag­ing,” he said.

Burk­ina Faso has largely been spared ex­trem­ist violence. How­ever, gun­men at­tacked an­other po­lice post near Mali’s border in Au­gust, and in April a Ro­ma­nian se­cu­rity of­fi­cer was kid­napped from the north­ern Tam­bao min­ing site. The al-Qaida linked AlMoura­bitoun group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity - the same group that said it car­ried out last week’s ho­tel at­tack in Mali that killed 19. Burk­ina Faso has set up check­points at the en­trances to cities and plans to close its bor­ders for Sun­day’s vote. —AP

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