At least eight members of the Burkina Faso security forces were killed when a roadside bomb hit their patrol vehicle in the north of the country near the border with Mali.
“I have just learned that eight Burkinabe soldiers died after their vehicle drove over a home-made mine planted by the enemies of our people,” President Roch Marc Christian Kabore announced on Wednesday, September 26.
The convoy was traveling on the road linking Djibo and Baraboulé, he added.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces in a statement said the bomb struck a vehicle on a resupply mission at around 9:20 a.m., killing eight soldiers and injuring one.
“The lead vehicle in the convoy hit the mine” as it was coming off a bridge, a security source told AFP.
Kisal, an NGO that promotes human rights in Africa’s Sahel region, said in a Facebook post that more than a dozen people were killed on Monday in Petegoli, also in Soum province. It said that they were shot dead by members of the security forces.
That followed the killing of three police officers who were hunting for a trio of kidnapped mineworkers in the area. Their bodies were found at daybreak after a two-hour clash with an armed group late on Sunday.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has been battling an escalating wave of attacks over the last three years, beginning with cross-border incursions from Mali into the north of the country but now spreading to the east, near the border with Togo, Benin and Niger.
Security forces have carried out a series of arrests in recent months, detaining hundreds of people in connection with the attacks.
On September 8, President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré said the armed forces would “resume the initiative” throughout Burkina Faso, particularly in the east and north.
But a recent surge in attacks in the east of the country is said by experts to be the result of pressure on jihadist insurgents in neighboring Mali and Niger.
The armed forces said on September 16 that it had conducted air strikes and clearing operations near Pama and Gayeri in the east, without specifying when.
On September 15, at least nine civilians were killed in twin attacks in Kompienga province.
On September 5, two Burkina Faso soldiers were killed and five others wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Kabonga in Kompienga province. That patrol had reportedly been deployed in response to an attack on August 28 in which at least seven Burkinabe security personnel sent as reinforcements were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb en route to Pama, where a police station had come under attack.
On August 11, six people, five of them police, were killed in a “terrorist” bomb and gun attack near the Boungou gold mine near Fada N’Gourma.
With reporting from AFP. This post was updated on September 26 to include additional information.