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Death toll in Burkina jihadist attack rises to 25

Death toll in Burkina jihadist attack rises to 25
Photo: A soldier shoots in the air at the Bobo interchange near the Lamizana camp in   -  
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Sophie Garcia/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Burkina Faso

At least 25 people, including 22 civilians and three police officers, were killed in an attack by suspected jihadists in northern Burkina Faso on Saturday, according to a new toll announced Monday by the governor of the Sahel region.

"The municipality of Bani in the province of Séno (north) was the target of a violent attack perpetrated by armed terrorist groups", explained the governor and lieutenant-colonel Rodolphe Sorgho , in a press release.

"The provisional toll of this despicable and barbaric attack shows 25 people killed, including 22 civilians and three policemen, injuries and material damage," he said. A previous report given Sunday by two residents had reported at least 12 dead.

Mr Sorgho said in the press release that actions to secure "the locality are underway" and invites the population to "more collaboration so that together we can overcome the terrorist hydra".

On Sunday, a resident said that the armed men "targeted the police station, the town hall and a school". "Concessions (homes) and a mosque were hit by the gunfire of the attackers before the response from the defense and security forces," he added.

A second resident had told him that "men on motorcycles" " attacked the city" with "several targets", fearing a heavier toll given the number of missing and injured. "Several armed individuals were neutralized in the response and the hunt that followed," said a security source.

Also on Saturday in the Eastern region, six soldiers were killed in the explosion of a homemade bomb, according to two security sources. "Elements of the Diapaga military detachment were carrying out a patrol mission" when their vehicle "hit a mine on the Diapaga-Partiaga axis", said one of them.

Burkina Faso has been rocked since 2015 by attacks by groups linked to Al -Qaeda and the Islamic State, and their clashes with the armed forces. The violence left thousands dead and some two million displaced.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, transitional president resulting from a military coup on September 30, 2022 - the second in eight months - has set himself the objective of "reconquering the territory occupied by these hordes of terrorists".

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