Fourteen soldiers in Burkina Faso were killed and another eight injured in an ambush by suspected Islamist militants, the government said.
The Wednesday incident happened about a week before the presidential election in the West African country, fixed for 22 November.
The attack happened in Oudalan province, near the borders with Mali and Niger, according to the ministry of communication.
“The defence and security forces have been deployed in the area and are carrying out search operations and tracking down the perpetrators of this attack,” the ministry said.
President Roch Kaboré, who is seeking a second term, has suspended his campaigns for 48 hours in honour of the soldiers who died.
President Kaboré, who faces 10 challengers for the top role, has promised peace if re-elected and urged the opposition not to use terrorism as a campaign tool.
In recent years, militant groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians and stoked ethnic conflict, part of a wider security crisis across West Africa’s Sahel region.
A security source said about 10 of the assailants were killed in the ensuing battle.
According to the United Nations, over 1 million people in Burkina Faso are displaced, more than one in every 20 inhabitants.
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