11 Burk­ina Faso troops killed in ji­hadist at­tack

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

OUAGADOUGOU:

Eleven Burk­ina Faso sol­diers were killed yesterday in what lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said was the big­gest ever ji­hadist at­tack on the army, at a base near the restive bor­der with Mali.

“We lost 11 of our men in the at­tack this morn­ing in Nas­soum­bou ... the big­gest ji­hadist at­tack ever per­pe­trated” against the army, the high com­mis­sioner of Soum prov­ince, Mo­hamed Dah, told AFP by phone.

Two more men were miss­ing af­ter around 40 ji­hadists rid­ing pick-up trucks and mo­tor­bikes at­tacked the base some 30 kilo­me­tres from the Burk­ina-Mali bor­der, he added. “They were heav­ily armed with Kalash­nikovs and rocket-launch­ers. They opened fire at the de­pots, the tents and set fire to some of the ve­hi­cles,” he added.

A se­cu­rity source who asked not to be named said the as­sailants were wear­ing tur­bans and wav­ing black flags. The army, which said in a state­ment that the Nas­soum­bou base had been at­tacked in the morn­ing, said it had sent re­in­force­ments. “We have launched a hunt and a more de­tailed toll with be pro­vided,” a se­cu­rity source said. Troops at the Nas­soum­bou base are part of a 600strong anti-ter­ror­ist bat­tal­ion that was de­ployed in Jan­uary 2013 when France sent in troops to counter a ji­hadist in­sur­gency in north­ern Mali.

This is the sec­ond di­rect at­tack against the Burk­ina army since ji­hadist as­sailants sur­faced in the coun­try in early 2015, mostly stag­ing at­tacks in the north near the bor­ders of Mali and Niger.

But in Jan­uary this year, three ji­hadists left 30 peo­ple dead and 71 in­jured in an at­tack in the heart of the cap­i­tal, Ouagadougou. The army has, since 2012, had an anti-ter­ror­ist bat­tal­ion de­ployed along the coun­try’s long bor­der with Mali, an area which is fre­quently sub­jected to at­tacks and kid­nap­pings. — AFP

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