‘Terrorist’ attack in Gasseliki in northern Burkina Faso kills 12

Twelve people were killed and two injured in a terrorist attack in Gasseliki in northern Burkina Faso, the security ministry said on Friday.

“Around 30 armed individuals perpetrated a terrorist attack in the village of Gasseliki,” around 30 km (19 miles) south of Arbinda, in Soum province in the northern Sahel Region on Thursday, January 10, the ministry said in a Facebook post.

The attack, carried out in the middle of the day, “left twelve dead and two wounded,” the ministry said.

Six shops and a granary were set on fire, and five motorcycles and “several oxen” were seized by the assailants who “quickly melted into the wild,” it added.

Also on Friday, Burkina Faso’s parliament approved a six-month state of emergency in several provinces impacted by militant Islamist violence, Reuters reported.

Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré had declared a state of emergency in provinces within seven of the country’s 13 administrative regions on December 31 after 10 gendarmes were killed near the border with Mali on December 27.

On Thursday, newly promoted Brigadier General Moise Miningou was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Burkina Faso by presidential decree. He replaced Major General Oumarou Sadou, who had served as armed forces chief for two years.

Burkina Faso, in the heart of the sprawling, impoverished Sahel, on the southern rim of the Sahara, has been battling an escalating wave of attacks over the last three years, beginning in the North region near the border with Mali.

Attacks have spread to the East region, near the border with Togo, Benin and Niger.

Most attacks are attributed to the jihadist group Ansar ul Islam, which emerged near the Mali border in December 2016, and to the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM), which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Those groups are believed to be responsible for more than 255 deaths since 2015.

With reporting from AFP

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