Militants Attack Gold Mine in Burkina Faso, Kill Two

Militants have raided the Karma industrial gold mine in northern Burkina Faso in the early hours of Thursday morning, killing one soldier and one civilian.

Three or four soldiers were also wounded in the assault.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible, but militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have been waging an insurgency in northern Burkina Faso for nearly a decade and routinely carry out attacks.

Several of those have targeted convoys on their way to and from the region’s gold mines. An ambush on buses carrying employees of Canadian firm Semafo in 2019 was the deadliest, killing 39 people.

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Attacks on the mines themselves, however, have been much uncommon.

A diplomatic source said three people had been killed at the mine and 10 others injured, eight of them seriously. A Burkinabe security source said about 200 unknown attackers had arrived just before dawn. Two other industry sources said the attack was eventually repelled.

The president of Burkina Faso’s mines chamber said in April that extra measures would be taken to protect gold projects in the north after Russia’s Nordgold shut down its mine there, citing deteriorating security.

Nere Mining, a Burkina Faso-based consortium, purchased Endeavour Mining’s 90% stake in the Karma mine in March for $25 million. It produced about 88,000 ounces of gold in 2021.

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