Six people, five of them police, were killed in a “terrorist” bomb and gun attack near a gold mine in eastern Burkina Faso, the defense ministry said.
Five people – four gendarmes and a civilian – were killed on Saturday when their vehicle struck a mine about 100 km (60 miles) from Fada N’Gourma, the chief town in the east of the Sahel country, it said in a Monday, August 13 statement.
A sixth person, also a gendarme, was killed later in a shootout with the assailants.
The attack happened while their convoy was returning from escorting a mission to a mining complex at Boungou, the ministry said.
“The lead vehicle hit a mine. The rest of the convoy came under heavy fire,” it said.
The incident occurred on Saturday evening, Africanews reported.
The civilian was a sub-contractor to Canadian mining company SEMAFO.
“Operations at the Boungou Mine were not affected, the company said in a statement. “As a precautionary measure, we will be increasing our security measures and continue to closely monitor the situation with our partners to protect the safety of SEMAFO employees and our operations.”
SEMAFO completed its first gold pour at the Boungou mine in June, and aims for commercial gold production from the mine this month.
Burkina Faso has been battling an escalating wave of attacks over the last three years, beginning in the north of the country but now spreading to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.
Security forces have carried out a series of arrests in recent months, detaining hundreds of people in connection with the attacks.
With reporting from AFP