20 Killed In Attack On Gendarmes In Burkina Faso

At least 19 gendarmes and a civilian were killed by suspected jihadists in an attack early Sunday in northern Burkina Faso

The army chief of staff said in a statement that the pre-dawn attack, one of the deadliest to hit Burkinabe defence and security forces since jihadist violence erupted six years ago,  targeted a “detachment of the Inata gendarmerie”

According to a “provisional” toll, the attack left 20 dead including a civilian, Security Minister Maxime Kone

He said the gendarmes “resisted and fought bravely”, adding that survivors had been located, with a search still underway for others.

A security source said the assailants drove pickup trucks and motorbikes and engaged in “lengthy exchanges of gunfire” with the gendarmes.

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The poor Sahel state has been hit by jihadist attacks since 2015, mostly in the northern and eastern regions close to Mali and Niger countries facing their own struggles against jihadists but also in the south.

Jihadist attacks, often coupled with ambushes and attributed to movements affiliated to the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda, have killed more than 2,000 people and forced more than 1.4 million to flee their homes.

Last week the political opposition in the former French colony called for urgent steps to deal with what it called a worsening security situation following a surge in jihadist attacks.

They threatened to take to the streets to demand the immediate resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

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