Two police stations in Burkina Faso were on Monday night attacked in the northern province of Soum, near the Malian border.
In almost two months, this is the second time that part of the country has been attacked. The last one, also in Soum, resulted in the death of a dozen soldiers.
Confirming the attack to the AFP news agency, Burkinabe Minister of Security, Simon Compaore said, “Two of our police stations were attacked last night in Baraboulé and Tongomayel (Soum province).”
The shooting stopped, but the assailants have not yet left. Military reinforcements have been sent to the scene.
Authorities in Soum are however harbouring fears that the objective of the attackers could be elsewhere. No group has yet claimed the attack.
“The shooting stopped, but the assailants have not yet left. Military reinforcements have been sent to the scene … We wonder if this is a diversion, in order to mobilize security forces to attack more important targets,” a top official said.
Tensions are further heightened given that the 25th Panafrican Festival of Cinema and Television of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) is currently taking place in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. The event attracts tens of thousands of film enthusiasts from all over the world.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African nation, has until now been spared by insurgents. But since January 15, 2015, with the attack on the Splendid Hotel that left 30 dead and 71 wounded, Burkina Faso entered the books of these insurgents.