Insurgents Kill 30 in Northern Burkina Faso

An armed group in northern Burkina Faso killed 30 people – including 15 soldiers, 11 civilians and four army auxiliaries – in two attacks near the border, it shared with Niger.

Aime Barthelemy Simpore, an assistant to Burkina Faso’s Minister of Defence, in a statement on Thursday, said the militia had raided two villages near the town of Markoye on Wednesday before attacking security forces responding to the raids later that afternoon.

More than 10 of the attackers were also killed, the statement said, adding the military had regained control of the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

More than 1,000 people have been killed and 1.3 million have been displaced in Burkina Faso as a result of violence associated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State. 

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The recent attacks come about a week after jihadists killed at least 19 people, 18 of whom were members of the military.

In July, a Burkinabe soldier and “several dozen” jihadists were killed in an army operation to secure Madjoari, Eastern Burkina Faso.

Ten people, including seven VIPs, were also killed in mid-July in an attack in northern Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso’s most deadly attack since 2015 took place in Solhan, a village in the Sahel region that was attacked on June 4-5. In total, 132 people were killed in the region by gunmen, among them “young children aged 12 to 14”, the government reports.

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Reacting to protests over insecurity and the government’s seeming inaction, Burkina Faso’s President Roch Kabore had dismissed Cherif Sy, the country’s defence minister, last month.

Sy had been defence minister since the country’s conflict with domestic terror groups started in 2015.

His replacement is the president himself with Simpore, a minister delegate who has been appointed to assist.

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