Burkina Faso army announces the killing of 32 "terrorists" in two operations in the north of the country

Burkina Faso has killed 32 terrorists in two days of operations in the north of the country, where more and more jihadist attacks are taking place, the military said on Sunday.

The announcement comes about 10 days after a major attack in the east of the country on a convoy of Canadian mining company "Semafu" and attributed to jihadists. It killed 38 people and shocked the country.

On Friday, gunmen attacked a military patrol near Yorsala in the Lorum region.

"The strict response to the unit, which was followed by a sweep in the Yorsala forest, led to fierce battles that lasted for hours," the General Staff said in a statement.

She confirmed, "paralyzing the movement of 24 terrorists during the confrontations and the confiscation of various materials," explaining that "a soldier was killed unfortunately."

"This operation also allowed the release of many women who had been held by terrorists for sexual slavery," the statement said.

"After these clashes and on the basis of accurate information," the army on Saturday "carried out an offensive operation in the vicinity of Bourzanga (Bam region), which allowed the crippling of eight terrorists and the recovery of a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and miscellaneous equipment."

- "Keep the momentum" -

Agence France-Presse could not independently confirm the toll. But on Saturday night, security sources said there were fierce fighting between 10 and 15 terrorists.

"It congratulates all army units for their commitment and invites them to maintain this momentum," the statement said.

The army announced in early February that it had paralyzed 146 terrorists in a massive operation in the north, but several observers were skeptical.

The country's military, police and gendarmerie are under-equipped and seem unable to stop jihadist attacks that have doubled in 2019 until they become almost daily.

Until the popular uprising that ousted him from power in 2014, President Blaise Compaore had resorted to regional mediation and constantly negotiated jihadist groups.

Until 2015, Burkina Faso remained free from the violence in Mali and then Niger, in the north.

But jihadists - some with links to al-Qaeda and others with the Islamic State - began to penetrate into the northern and then eastern regions before threatening its southern and western borders.

France has about 200 special forces in Kampwinsen, a suburb of Ouagadougou, but regularly intervenes in the country as part of the 4,500-strong Barkhan force in the Sahel.

About 500,000 people have fled their homes in the north and east of the country because of the attacks, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which points to a "continuing humanitarian crisis" affecting some 1.5 million people in the country.

Around 3,000 schools were closed as the violence spilled over into the economy.

 

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