Togo authorities say 15 assailants died in ‘terrorist’ attack

Violence from armed groups and criminal networks is on the rise across West Africa.

Togolese security forces
Security forces arrive to control voters at a local election commission office in Lome, Togo, Saturday, April 25, 2015. [File: Erick Kaglan/AP Photo]

About 15 assailants were killed during a “terrorist” attack last week in the north of Togo that also killed eight soldiers, its security minister has said.

Togo’s troops are deployed in the north of the country to contain a security threat pushing south from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger where groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) operate.

In the early hours of May 11, about 60 attackers on motorcycles launched a “violent terrorist attack” on a military post in Kpinkankandi – near the border with Burkina Faso – killing eight Togolese soldiers and wounding 13, the government said at the time.

On Wednesday evening, Security Minister General Damehame Yark on Wednesday evening said 15 of the attackers died.

“[The attackers] quickly transported the bodies across the border where they were buried,” Yark said on national television.

Last November, soldiers foiled an attack in the northern village of Sanloaga, making last week’s attack the first to have casualties.

Violence from armed groups and criminal networks is on the rise across West Africa.

In three years, the region has suffered more than 5,300 terror-related attacks killing about 16,000 people, Ghanaian Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul said earlier this month during a meeting of West African defence chiefs.

The uptick in violence has also led to concerns from analysts and other stakeholders that insecurity in the Sahel is spreading to coastal countries along the Gulf of Guinea.

Source: AFP