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MSF suspends operations in northwest Burkina Faso after gunmen kill two staff

MSF suspends operations in northwest Burkina Faso after gunmen kill two staff
Military personnel stand outside the headquarters of the country's defense forces in ...   -  
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Burkina Faso

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has suspended its operations in an area of northwest Burkina Faso where armed assailants killed two of its employees on Wednesday, the medical charity said in a statement.

"On the morning of Wednesday, February 8, a clearly marked Doctors Without Borders vehicle carrying a four-person medical team on the road between Dédougou and Tougan (northwest) was targeted by armed men who fired on the crew. Two employees were killed, while two others managed to escape," MSF said.

Two Burkina Faso nationals - the driver and a logistics supervisor aged 39 and 34 respectively - were killed, MSF said in a statement.

"The two victims, of Burkinabe nationality, had been employed by MSF" since June 2020, added the NGO, whose members are "shocked and outraged by this assassination," according to MSF President Isabelle Defourny, quoted in the statement.

"This is a deliberate and intentional attack on a clearly identified humanitarian team, in the context of its medical mission," said Ms. Defourny.

This is the second attack perpetrated Wednesday by suspected jihadists in Burkina Faso after the one that killed six people - three army deputies and three civilians - in the Center-East, according to a resident and a security source.

Burkina Faso, the scene of two military coups in 2022, has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of jihadist violence that began in Mali a few years earlier and has spread beyond its borders.

The violence has left thousands dead - civilians and soldiers - and some two million displaced.

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