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Burkina: At least 12 civilians killed by suspected jihadists near Mali

Burkina: At least 12 civilians killed by suspected jihadists near Mali
Burkina Faso's new leader, Captain Ibrahim Traore, arrives for a ceremony to honour the ...   -  
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Burkina Faso

At least 12 civilians were killed and six wounded on Thursday night in an attack by suspected jihadists in northwestern Burkina Faso, a few miles from the Malian border, residents told AFP on Sunday.

"Several dozen men in motorised pairs attacked the village of Sanakadougou," located in the Kombori commune in the province of Kossi, a resident told AFP, requesting anonymity.

"After setting fire to several houses and shooting at the inhabitants, 12 people were killed and six injured," he said.

Another resident, confirming the attack, said the death toll was "13 and five injured",

"Almost the entire village was burnt down. Almost the entire village has been burnt down. The granaries and houses have been set on fire", continued this second witness, stating that "the population has started to leave the area since Friday".

The inhabitants "were unable to take anything with them because the attackers burned or looted everything and took away the few possessions and livestock of the villagers," continued this witness, who said he had taken refuge in Nouna, the capital of Kossi province.

He also said he feared a higher death toll in the area after another nearby town, Yaran, was attacked on Sunday morning "by armed groups".

Deadly raids attributed to jihadists have increased in recent weeks in Burkina.

This week, around forty people, civilians or soldiers, died in various attacks and last week, some fifty people were killed in several jihadist raids.

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 and Niger a few years earlier and has spread beyond their borders.

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

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the transitional president who emerged from a military coup on 30 September 2022, has set himself the goal of "reclaiming the territory occupied by these terrorist hordes" who control about 40% of the country.

The ruling junta, which claims to want to regain its "sovereignty" in the fight against jihadists, has asked the French special forces based in Ouagadougou to leave the country by the end of the month.

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