5 000 flee jihadist attacks in northern Burkina Faso

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Nearly 5 000 people have fled Burkina Faso's northern frontier region with Mali since January as a result of cross-border jihadist attacks, the International Red Cross said on Tuesday.

The exodus from the border province of Soum since September now totals "more than 18 000," it said in a statement.

The figure applies to people who have been helped by the Red Cross and Red Crescent to head away from the violence. Many are being given vouchers that can be exchanged for food in local stores.

The Red Cross said it was worried for rural communities in the region during the months between June and August, when drought and unrest could imperil the next harvest.

According to official figures, 80 jihadist attacks have occurred in northern Burkina Faso over the past three years, leaving 133 dead.

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