Five soldiers and 30 “terrorists” were killed Saturday in the northern part of Burkina Faso, in a new attack by alleged jihadists against a military unit, the general defense staff of the African state announced.
An army base in Burzanga, a community in Bam province, was attacked on Saturday morning by a “large number” of terrorists armed with “heavy” weapons, according to a staff press release.
“Five soldiers were killed and ten others were wounded during the fighting,” he said.
The “provisional report” said “at least thirty terrorists were killed”, the staff added, adding that the so-called jihadists “were forced to retreat in the face of the firepower of the detachment and the intervention of the Air Force”.
According to the staff, “in their erratic flight, several terrorists, some wounded, mingled with civilians to try to escape the pursuit” of the army. “Scan operations” continue in the area, according to the same source.
After the alleged jihadists fled, “weapons (individual and group), ammunition, motorcycles (about thirty) and media were confiscated”, as well as “armored vehicles and open trucks with custom weapons used by the terrorists in “.
Paying tribute to the fallen, the Chief of General Staff, Colonel David Cabre, praised the “heroic” resistance of the soldiers and called on “all units involved to continue mobilizing for our common goal, which is its recovery. integrity of our territory “.
On Thursday, eleven soldiers were killed during an attack on an army unit in eastern Burkina Faso.
And a week ago some forty people, army aides and civilians, were killed in three attacks attributed to jihadists.
Burkina Faso – especially its northern and eastern sectors – has been the scene of frequent attacks by jihadists swearing allegiance to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, as well as neighboring countries (Mali, Niger) since 2015. Officials put the death toll at more than 2,000 and 1.8 million internally displaced.
The new head of state, Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sadaogo Damiba, who ousted President-elect Rock Marc Christian Cabore in late January, has been criticized for his ineffectiveness in dealing with jihadists.
But the country of 21 million people, one of the poorest in the world despite its gold deposits, is experiencing – after a period of relative calm – a resurgence of jihadist activities, with some 200 dead, civilians and soldiers.
In early April, the military regime announced the creation of local “dialogue” commissions with the jihadists, as part of an effort to curb violence.