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Burkina Faso: At least 12 civilians killed in northern attack

Burkina Faso: At least 12 civilians killed in northern attack
A soldier walks near the back of the army headquarters in central Ouagadougou...   -  
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Ludivine Laniepce/Copyright 2018 The Associated Press

Burkina Faso

At least 12 civilians were killed Thursday in an attack by suspected jihadists in northern Burkina Faso, AFP learned Monday from local sources.

A group of terrorists" attacked the village of Aorema, some 10 kilometres from Ouahigouya, capital of the northern region, local residents told AFP on Thursday.

"The attackers opened fire on a group of young people sitting in a kiosk (informal restaurant, editor's note). Seven young people died on the spot and three people died in their homes, hit by stray bullets. Two other people were shot and later died from their injuries," said one of them.

Another resident put the death toll at "fourteen", with several injured people succumbing to their wounds in the days following the attack.

"It was the kiosk where the young people were gathered that was directly targeted by the terrorists, who had already made incursions into the village, ordering the young people of the village to stop gathering there," he said.

The attack was confirmed by a security source, who said that "operations are underway" in the area, without giving any details.

The day after the attack, a curfew was introduced in the entire northern region of Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and regularly targeted by jihadists.

This curfew prohibits the movement of vehicles and people between 10pm and 5am until 31 March.

In addition to the northern region, a curfew has been introduced in several provinces in the centre-east, centre-north and east for a period of one to three months.

Burkina Faso has seen an increase in jihadist violence since the beginning of the year, with dozens of deaths - civilians and soldiers - almost every week.

The violence, attributed to groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (EI), has left more than 10,000 civilians and soldiers dead since 2015, according to NGOs, and some two million people displaced.

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