Police sources said that two police officers were murdered and one was injured in an attack on a police station in northwest Benin on Sunday.
This was the most recent in a succession of violent attacks in a region where militant activity from neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger had spilled over.
According to a police officer who wished to remain unnamed, suspected jihadists stormed the Dassari police station at around two in the morning and opened fire, killing two officers before being driven back.
“Our forces were able to resist. Unfortunately there were two dead in our ranks,” the police officer told reporters.
He claimed that a number of people had been hurt and that two “terrorists” had also died.
The attack and the number of fatalities were confirmed by a second anonymous police source. Near the Burkina Faso border, 600 kilometres (373 miles) northwest of Cotonou, the capital of Benin, is a town called Dassari.
A police station in the region of Karimana, close to the Niger border, was raided by armed gunmen on April 26. At least one person was killed and numerous others were injured.
It is important to note that the army of Benin has not released any official statements regarding the attack on Sunday.
“The attack this early morning once again spread panic among the local population,” said a local official in Dassari, who did not wish to be named for safety reasons.
“The situation is now under control thanks to reinforcements from the army,” he added.
Attacks by terrorist organisations with ties to al Qaeda and the Islamic State that have migrated to northern Benin from the Sahel region of West Africa have increased recently.
In April, a military convoy struck an IED positioned in the northern Pendjari National Park, resulting in the deaths of five soldiers.
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