At least 15 people were killed in northern Burkina Faso in an attack on a convoy that transported traders in a city in northern Burkina Faso on Friday, the government said on Saturday.
“The preliminary toll mentions 15 dead, injured and missing persons and significant material damage,” said Burkina Faso’s Minister of Communications Remis Fulgance Dandjinou.
The attack in Loroum Province, Dandjinou added, was carried out by “armed terrorists”, briefly for jihadists.
“Military reinforcements were deployed and searches are underway,” he said.
The victims were mainly traders who came from Titao, about 160 kilometers north of the capital, Ouagadougou, when their vehicles were intercepted by “armed individuals,” a Titao resident said.
He added that the attack happened around 5pm local time Friday.
“The trucks were escorted by ‘koglweogo’ (local self-defense members) who were among the injured,” said the resident on condition of anonymity.
He said “at least four women” were among the dead and that two trucks were burned.
In January, nine shop owners were killed and one vehicle was allowed to dry along the same road.
Increasing violence, poorly trained military
Burkina Faso’s armed forces are leading to terrorist operations with increasing frequency.
The poor Sahel country is part of a regional effort to fight an Islamist uprising along with Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad.
Their military, under-equipped and poorly trained, are fighting despite the help of France, which has 5,000 troops in the region.
Concerns in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger killed about 4,000 people last year, according to UN figures.
On Thursday, Burkina Faso’s armed forces said troops were destroying a militant camp in another northern province. It said that 10 assailants and one soldier died during the operation.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)