Four French soldiers were wounded in an improvised explosive device blast in northern Burkina Faso, France’s military disclosed on Tuesday evening.
The army explained in a statement that “(Their) off-road vehicle activated an IED as it left Ouahigouya airport,” adding the unit was part of the Barkhane operation, Paris’ deployment in the Sahel against a jihadist insurgency.
According to the army, four soldiers were wounded, including one seriously wounded with the group either evacuated to Mali or France for those in a more serious condition.
Burkina Faso has been struggling with jihadist attacks since 2015 when militants linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group began mounting cross-border raids from Mali. So far, more than 2000 people have died
The flashpoint “tri-border” area is frequently targeted by Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM) with deadly attacks against civilians and soldiers.
The French army has killed several high-ranking members of ISGS since the start of its military intervention in Mali in 2013.
But in June last year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a major scaleback in the Barkhane mission to refocus on counter-terrorism operations and supporting local forces.
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