During an overnight attack on a correctional facility in northwestern Burkina Faso, militants liberated not less than 60 inmates.
Assailants on motorcycles stormed the town of Nouna about midnight, wielding heavy ammunition.
It was gathered that the militants freed around 60 inmates from the city jail, its entire prisoner population. Before fleeing, they ransacked workplaces, several homes, and set vehicles ablaze.
No casualties were recorded and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, militants killed at least 12 people in northern Burkina Faso, the majority of them were members of a volunteer militia.
It is also pertinent to mention that militants killed at least 11 people between the northern towns of Dori and Gorgadji, according to local officials. Among the dead were nine militiamen and two civilians.
Frustration over the government’s inability to protect citizens has spurred protests in Burkina Faso that culminated in a military coup in January, West Africa’s fourth in 18 months after two in Mali and one in Guinea.
Over the last decade, the government has been fighting an insurgency that has extended across the Sahel.
Attacks by insurgents linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State group have killed thousands and displaced an estimated 1.5 million people in Burkina Faso since 2015.
Between 2015 and 2018, terrorist attacks targeted the capital Ouagadougou and other centers of power in Burkina Faso. Since 2019, attacks by mobile combat units targeted mostly rural zones in the north and east of the country, fuelling displacements en masse and intercommunal violence. Some 2,000 people were killed, among them civilians and members of the armed forces or the Volunteers for the Defence of the Homeland, a civilian auxiliary group of the army created in 2020.
In January, a military administration took power and deposed President Roch Kaboré, accusing him of failing to combat the terrorist insurgency.
The 64-year-old was elected in 2015 after a popular uprising threw away long-time dictator Blaise Compaore, who had seized control in a putsch in 1987.
Kabore was re-elected in 2020, although he received widespread criticism over the poor West African country’s insurgency struggle. A transitional assembly led by junta leader Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba resumed office in Ouagadougou.