At least four soldiers were killed Tuesday in an attack blamed on jihadists in northern Burkina Faso, security sources said.
The “terrorists” targeted a military detachment between Markoye and Tokabangou, near the border with Niger, one of the sources told AFP, using the army’s term for jihadists.
Another said the army counter-attacked, repelling the assailants and killing “some” of them. He added that more soldiers may have died in the clash.
He said a “search and sweep operation” was under way to “hunt down the assailants and search for (soldiers) who are still missing.”
Markoye, in Oudalan province, is in the heart of the so-called tri-border area — a flashpoint zone where the frontiers of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali converge that is a hotbed of groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
Last week at least 13 civilians including two volunteers working for the army’s anti-jihadist campaign were killed in northern Burkina Faso, a poor, landlocked former French colony.
Such attacks have claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes since 2015.