At least 16 killed in attack on army base in Burkina Faso

Reinforcements were sent to secure the Namissiguima military base after the deadly attack.

burkina faso
Burkina Faso soldiers on patrol in February 2020 [File: Olympia de Maismont/AFP]

At least a dozen soldiers and four paramilitary fighters were killed during an attack on an army base in Burkina Faso’s Sanmatenga province.

The assault on Friday in the northern region also left more than 20 soldiers wounded, the army said in a statement.

Reinforcements were sent to secure the Namissiguima military base where the number of casualties reported so far is provisional, the army added.

No details on who carried out the raid were provided though armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have for years attempted to gain control over a swath of terrain where the borders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger meet.

The campaign of violence has killed thousands of people and forced more than two million to flee their homes in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert. In March, more than 30 people, including 13 military police officers, were killed in three separate armed attacks in the north of the country.

Armed violence has persisted despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops in the region. Frustration about the lack of action by the Burkinabe government led to protests that culminated in a military coup in January.

Turmoil in the Sahel started when fighters took over Mali’s desert north in 2012, prompting France to intervene the following year in an attempt to push them back. The fighters regrouped in recent years and continue to launch attacks and seize territory.

Source: News Agencies