More Than 60 Killed in Blast at Gold Mine in Burkina Faso

At least 60 people were killed and many more injured in an explosion at an informal gold mining site in Burkina Faso.

Authorities said that the explosion happened in the village of Gbomblora and was believed to be caused by chemicals used to treat gold that were stocked at the site.

Sources say Women and children were among the 60 or so injured in the blast, many of them in a critical condition

Burkina Faso is currently the fifth-largest gold producer, with gold being the country’s most important export. In 2019, the industry employed approximately 1.5 million people and generated about U.S.$2 billion in revenue.

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According to a Senior Researcher with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) research, Fahiraman Rodrigue Koné, gold is smuggled into neighbouring Togo, Benin, Niger, and Ghana through illicit trafficking routes.

Burkina Faso, one of the world’s least developed countries, is under attack from militant groups linked to Al-Qaeda. These militant groups seek control of mining sites as a means to fund their violent attacks.

A coup d’état was launched in Burkina Faso on 23 January 2022. Gunfire erupted in front of the presidential residence in the Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou and several military barracks around the city. Soldiers were reported to have seized control of the military base in the capital.

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