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Jihadists kill three civilians in Burkina attack: security sources

Sunday March 31 2019

Burkinabe gendarmes

Burkinabe gendarmes patrol near the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) military barracks on September 29, 2015 in Ouagadougou. PHOTO | SIA KAMBOU | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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OUAGADOUGOU,

Three civilians were killed in a jihadist attack in the early hours of Saturday in Yendere in western Burkina Faso, near the border with Ivory Coast, security sources said.

The town was attacked "by a group of armed individuals," two of whom were killed by authorities, a source told AFP.

"Three civilians, all passengers in a public transport vehicle, were killed," said the source, describing the assailants as jihadist "terrorists".

"Two assailants were killed by security forces in response. There were no victims among the security forces."

BORDERS

This is the first attack in the violence-ridden country to claim lives so near the border with Ivory Coast.

Two civilians were injured in the attack, according to a different security source.

Yendere was the target of a similar attack earlier this month, which claimed no victims.

On Thursday, four Burkina Faso paramilitary police members died in an attack on a base near the border with Mali, a region that sees frequent attacks by jihadists, security sources said.

The same northern base was attacked in October when one gendarme was killed and three were wounded. An assailant was also killed.

The poor desert country, a former French colony, has seen a surge in attacks blamed on Islamist groups -- mainly the Ansaroul Islam group and the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) -- in the last four years.

At first they were concentrated in the north but the capital Ouagadougou has suffered three attacks, and they are on the rise in the east.

HUNDREDS KILLED

More than 310 people have died in the attacks since 2015, including a total of nearly 60 in Ouagadougou, according to an AFP tally.

Human Rights Watch says dozens of civilians have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes in the north so far this year.

More than 100,000 people have been displaced, over half of them since the start of 2019, officials have said.

The worsening violence that has engulfed the entire Sahel region has driven around 4.3 million people from their homes, including one million over the past year, according to UN humanitarian officials.

Jihadist groups have gained ground in central Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, while Chad is battling unrest on its borders.