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4 Burkina Troops, 3 Civilians Killed in Jihadist-hit North

OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO — A roadside bomb killed four troops in northern Burkina Faso, an area wracked by jihadi insurgency, the army said on Saturday, while three civilians died in another strike in the same region.

 

The troops were killed on Friday when an improvised explosive device went off as an army escort drove along the Bourzanga-Kongoussi road, the army said in a statement, adding that one person was also wounded.

 

The troops were returning after having escorted an aid convoy into the town of Djibo, a security source told Agence France-Presse.

 

The security source said armed men attacked the northeastern town of Falangoutou on Friday, killing three civilians.

 

A former lawmaker said jihadi forces returned on Saturday to the town, attacking local self-defense teams who were organizing themselves to protect it.

 

One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina has been struggling with a jihadi offensive since 2015.

 

Thousands of civilians and members of the security forces have died, and an estimated 2 million people have been displaced.

 

Disgruntled army officers have carried out two coups this year in a show of anger at failures to roll back the insurgency.

 

The first, in January, saw a military junta led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba overthrow elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

 

The second, in September, saw Captain Ibrahim Traore come to power as he and his supporters ousted Damiba.

 

Traore has been appointed transitional president with the declared aim of taking back swaths of territory held by the jihadis.

 

Source: Voice of America