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28.08.2019 Africa

Three killed in jihadist-hit Burkina region

By AFP
Burkina Faso armed forces, seen here in training, have suffered deadly attacks since the insurgency began in 2015.  By ISSOUF SANOGO (AFP)
LISTEN AUG 28, 2019
Burkina Faso armed forces, seen here in training, have suffered deadly attacks since the insurgency began in 2015. By ISSOUF SANOGO (AFP)

Three people were killed in a village in northern Burkina Faso on Tuesday, in a hit-and-run raid bearing the hallmark of jihadist insurgents, officials said.

A former French colony that ranks among one of the world's poorest countries, Burkina Faso has been struggling with an Islamist militant revolt since 2015.

"Four armed individuals on motorbikes attacked the village of Kourao, killing three civilians," a security official said on Wednesday.

The village is located in the province of Bam, 45 kilometres (28 miles) south of the town of Kongoussi.

"The victims were executed, causing panic in the village," a local official said, adding the attack was "carried out by suspected terrorists."

The country's jihadist insurgency, which came from neighbouring Mali, began in the north but has since spread to the east.

Since 2015, more than 500 people have died in attacks that have become increasingly violent especially in the north and the east, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

On Wednesday, the defence ministry announced an "exceptional" recruitment of 500 new troops into the armed forces, which have also suffered a string of deadly attacks.

Earlier this month, an attack on a military base in northern Burkina Faso killed 24 in an unprecedented blow to the army in its campaign against jihadists.

Burkina's capital Ouagadougou has been attacked three times, including a March 2018 jihadist assault on the military headquarters in the city which left eight dead.

Bam province has suffered a string of deadly assaults this year.

In May, four people were killed in Zimtenga, 25 kms from Kongoussi, during a Catholic religious procession.

In June, about 10 people were killed in attacks on three villages in Bourzanga district.

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