Eight soldiers killed in jihadist attack in northern Burkina Faso

Abidjan – Eight Burkinabe soldiers have been killed in a jihadist attack in the restive north of the country, security sources told AFP.

Jihadists ambushed the troops on Monday close to the Niger border in Yagha province, a security source told AFP, leaving four dead and four others missing.

"The bodies of the missing soldiers have been found during a search raising the death toll to eight," the security source said late on Tuesday.

The attack took place in a village called Kankanfogouol, the sources said, in an area where armed groups move back and forth across the border and carry out attacks in both countries.

"The health emergency linked to the implacable fight against Covid-19 must not make us forget the security imperative," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore posted on Twitter.

"We have to remain alert on both these fronts and I want to salute the commitment of our Defence and Security Forces," he said, without detailing the latest attack.

Burkina Faso is part of a regional effort to battle an Islamist insurgency, along with neighbouring Mali and Niger, Mauritania and Chad.

However, the West African country's under-equipped and poorly trained military has been unable to stem the violence despite help from France, which has 5 000 troops in the region.

According to UN figures, jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger left nearly 4 000 people dead last year. Some 800 000 people have been displaced since 2015.


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