Several killed by suspected jihadists in northern Burkina Faso

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Suspected jihadists killed a dozen civilians in northern Burkina Faso, officials said on Tuesday, while four people were reportedly kidnapped.

“Around ten civilians were executed” after gunmen, presumably from the region’s branch of the Islamic State, attacked residents of Dambam on their way to the market, a military official said.

The attack took place Monday in the north of the country near the border with Niger.

Troops “were deployed in the area to strengthen security and search it because four other people” disappeared on their way to the Markoye market, he said.

A local official said that “terrorists set up a checkpoint on the road between Dambam and Markoye and intercepted anyone heading for the market.”

He said the “four missing were kidnapped by the jihadists” as the attackers targeted people on foot, on motorcycles and other vehicles.

Another local official told AFP that “most of the victims were cowardly murdered, their throats cut” and vehicles set on fire.

The official said armed groups made incursions into a number of communities in the northern Sahel region on October 29 and 30.

“They looted property, took away livestock or kidnapped residents,” the official said.

Markoye is close to the region known as the three borders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger which has seen a wave of bloody jihadist attacks.

Home to one of the region’s few weekly markets, locals go there to buy or sell their cattle on Mondays.

In August, 30 people – 15 soldiers, 11 civilians and four irregulars from the army – were killed in attacks on Dambam, Guevara and Tokabangou, all close to Markoye.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso is grappling with an insurgency that swept through neighboring Mali in 2015.

Its armed forces are poorly trained and equipped against highly mobile jihadist units linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Groups are adept at ambushing road convoys, planting roadside bombs and conducting lightning raids on remote villages.

(AFP)

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