Burkina Faso’s Military Says 28 Soldiers, Civilians Killed In Two Rebel Attacks During Weekend
Burkina Faso’s military on Monday said at least 28 people, including soldiers and civilians, have been killed in two attacks by armed assailants, reported Aljazeera.
The army said that armed militants attacked a combat unit in Falagountou in which 10 soldiers, two fighters of the volunteer force, and a civilian were killed.
In a separate statement on Monday, Jean Charles dit Yenapono Some, governor of the Cascades region in the southern part of Burkina Faso, said the bodies of 15 men, all civilians, were found after an attack on Sunday.
According to the governor, some unidentified armed men had stopped two transport vehicles carrying eight women and 16 men. One man and all the women were freed.
“This January 30, the corpses of the victims, showing signs of bullet impact, were found near Linguekoro village,” the governor said in the statement.
The latest killings come as Burkina Faso as well as its neighboring countries Mali and Niger continue to battle armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIL) who have occupied territory in Burkina Faso’s arid and mainly rural north, killing hundreds of villagers and displacing nearly 2 million people.
Burkina Faso’s worsening security situation has led to frustration within the army and that ultimately resulted in two coups last year. The coups have intensified political instability and strained relations with former colonial power France, which has fought against the armed groups in the Sahel region.
The presence of French troops in the Sahel has come under intense scrutiny amid anti-French sentiment growing in the region. Mali’s militant ruling government also ordered French troops to leave, and the last contingent departed Malian territory in August 2022.
Last week, France said that it was recalling its ambassador from Burkina Faso, a day after agreeing to the demand to withdraw its troops from the country.