About 40 army auxiliaries and civilians were killed on Saturday in three attacks carried out by suspected jihadists in the north and east of Burkina Faso, AFP learned on Monday from security and local sources. The deadliest attack targeted the Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP, civilian army auxiliaries) in the commune of Guessel in the Sahel region (north), killing "about twenty people, including eight VDP “, according to one of their managers.
He added that on the same day, five other auxiliaries and a civilian were killed in Markoye, in the same region, which a security source confirmed, speaking of a "series of attacks which mainly targeted the Volunteers". . "Measures have been taken to (send) reinforcements to the area and the protection of hard-hit populations," she said.
In the province of Kompienga (south-east) near the borders of Togo and Benin, "a convoy of civilians escorted by army auxiliaries was targeted by an attack in Namouyouri", said another security source from the region stating that "around 15 civilians were killed". A resident of the province claimed that in addition to civilians, "three auxiliaries" were also killed in this attack. He appealed for help "for the care of about ten injured people".
More than 2,000 dead since 2015
While the north and east of the country concentrate the majority of jihadist attacks, certain regions in the west are also affected by violence, on a less regular basis. The country's new strongman, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who overthrew elected President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on January 24, accused of being ineffective in the face of jihadist violence, said he wanted to address the security issue his "priority".
After a relative lull in the weeks following his takeover, Mr. Damiba's military regime is facing an upsurge in attacks by suspected jihadists that have killed more than a hundred civilians and soldiers. A week ago, the Burkinabè army announced in a press release that it had "neutralized" at least fifty "terrorists" by responding to an ambush in the northwest and during an operation in the southwest.
In early April, the head of state announced the creation of local dialogue committees with local jihadist groups to try to stem the violence.