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Burkinabé government says dozens of jihadists killed in 4-nation military operation

By David Coffey with RFI
Europe © faso7.com
DEC 1, 2021 LISTEN
© faso7.com

Burkina Faso's government says it has killed dozens of "terrorists" and arrested hundreds of suspects in joint operations along its borders with neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

From 21 to 27 November, a total of almost 6,000 soldiers from all four countries were deployed against jihadists in a mission dubbed "Goundalgou 4."

Speaking on Tuesday, Burkinabé security minister Maxime Kone said that following joint patrols, lockdowns and searches of specific areas, the troops "arrested 300 suspects, several of them wanted."

Firearms, large quantities of ammunition and almost 150 vehicles and motorbikes, as well as significant quantities of narcotics, were reportedly seized.

In Burkina Faso itself, Kone said five "terrorist bases" were destroyed and "around 30 terrorists neutralised in clashes" near the border with Côte d'Ivoire.

Burkina Faso mounted three similar operations with its neighbours in 2018-2019, cooperating with one other country at a time "in areas facing the emergence of armed terrorist groups like Boko Haram, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara," Kone added.

Jihadist attacks have grown increasingly regular and deadly in Burkina Faso since 2015.

At least nine gendarmes and around 10 civilians were killed on 21 November in an attack blamed on jihadists.

A week before, at least 57 people, 53 of them gendarmes, were killed in an attack on a police post in the north of the country. 

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