About 40 people, including army collaborators, were killed over the weekend in western Burkina Faso, in two attacks carried out by suspected jihadist gunmen, security and local sources told AFP on Tuesday.
After the attack, Prime Minister Apollinaire Joaquim Quilem de Tambila said, “There are no elections without security.”
A “secured convoy” was subjected to an “attack by armed men” near Bourasso, according to a statement issued by the administration of the Boucle du Muhou region, near Mali.
A local official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “This attack killed about twenty people, most of whom were collaborators with the army (volunteers to defend the homeland, civilian assistants to the army).”
For its part, the Boucle de Mouhoun administration indicated that “18 fighters were injured,” without mentioning any deaths.
A security source said that “air support deployed after the ambush helped track down and neutralize about thirty terrorists” in northeastern Burasso.
The same source added that “a group (of supposed jihadists) attacked on Sunday the residents of Wakara, also located in the Boucle du Mouhoun area, which led to the fall of innocent victims among the residents,” explaining that “operations are underway to secure the residents.”
“We recorded the death of about twenty people at the hands of the attackers who stormed the village of Wakara,” located about 100 kilometers from Burasso, a resident told AFP, adding that “the toll is temporary.”
“Since yesterday (Monday), many people left the village for Nona or Digodo, because the terrorists gave 72 hours to evacuate the village,” the same source said.
For several weeks, violent attacks have multiplied in the Boucle du Mouhoun region, on the border with Mali.
Since 2015, Burkina Faso, which was the scene of two military coups last year, has been witnessing a spiral of jihadist violence that first appeared in neighboring Mali and Niger and spread beyond their borders.
Seven years of violence left more than ten thousand civilians and soldiers dead, according to non-governmental organizations, and forced more than two million people to flee.