In Summary
  • Jihadist attacks began in northern Burkina Faso in 2015 but then spread to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.
  • The west African country declared a state of emergency in several provinces at the end of last year and on Thursday replaced its army chief as it struggled to put a stop to a spate of such attacks.
  • The jihadists mainly target the security forces, but also attack government officials and local chiefs who oppose them.

OUAGADOUGOU,

Twelve civilians were killed on Thursday during a jihadist attack in the north of Burkina Faso, which has been battling a wave of Islamist violence, officials said Friday.

The west African country declared a state of emergency in several provinces at the end of last year and on Thursday replaced its army chief as it struggled to put a stop to a spate of such attacks.

TERRORISTS

In the latest violence, gunmen attacked a village market in broad daylight, the security ministry said in a statement issued late Friday.

"Around 30 armed individuals perpetrated... a terrorist attack in the village of Gasseliki," it said, giving a toll of 12 dead and two wounded.

"A barn, a cart and six shops were also set alight," it added.

A local source told AFP that the attackers "ransacked stores and opened fire on people who had gathered for the weekly market".

Jihadist attacks began in northern Burkina Faso in 2015 but then spread to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.

The country is part of the vast Sahel region and one of the poorest states in the world.

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