At least eight people were killed by armed militants while collecting water in a northern Burkinabè town on Monday, the mayor said, taking the death toll in three days of conflict above 30.
Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have for years attempted to control an arid swath of ground where Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger meet in Arbinda, in the province of Soum.
Mayor Boureima Werems said the insurgents have targeted water towers and pumps in recent weeks, a seemingly new tactic.
Separately on Sunday, military police reported the deaths of at least 15 people, including 13 officers. On Saturday, nine people were killed in an attack on a gold mine in the province of Oudalan, an official source reported.
More than 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of violence in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert. Although thousands of foreign troops are present in the region, killings continue, undermining faith in elected governments.
Burkina Faso’s frustration with a lack of government control led to protests in January, culminating in a coup. In August 2020, Mali’s military took power.
France intervened in the Sahel in an attempt to push militants back after they seized control of Mali’s desert north in 2012. Nevertheless, the insurgents have regrouped in recent years and seized territory.
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