Four people including expat missing in Burkina Faso: govt

(iStock)
(iStock)

Four people, including one foreigner, working as service providers on a government telecommunications project have been reported missing in Burkina Faso, a minister said in a statement.

The four - three Burkinabes and one foreigner - were reported missing on Friday after their vehicle was discovered abandoned with its doors open in the southwestern Cascades region, Digital Economy and Postal Development Minister Hadja Fatimata Ouattara said.

A search operation had been launched.

A security source told AFP the expatriate worker was Asian.

Kidnapping for ransom is not uncommon in the West African country which is in the grip of increasing jihadist violence that the armed forces have been unable to stem.

In December 2018 an Italian and a Canadian disappeared on a road near the area where the latest incident happened.

In September 2018 an Indian and a South African working in the mining sector were abducted from the Inata gold mine in the northwest.

An ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in eastern Burkina Faso earlier this month killed 37 people, the deadliest attack in nearly five years of jihadist violence.

More than 700 people have been killed in the unrest since fighting spilled across the border from Mali, according to an AFP count.

Attacks in Burkina Faso, which borders Mali and Niger, began in the north but spread to the east and the west of the country in 2018, while the capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times.

Most of the violence is attributed to jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group, with around 500,000 people internally displaced by attacks, according to the UN.

Attacks have intensified this year as the underequipped, poorly trained Burkina Faso army struggles to contain the Islamist militancy.

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