At least twelve soldiers were killed Sunday in eastern Burkina Faso by suspected jihadists, security sources told AFP, the sixth attack of its kind in the country in 10 days.
“On Sunday, armed elements attacked a (military) unit around Natiaboani. The provisional toll is twelve fallen soldiers,” a security source told AFP.
“This was a patrol and security team that were attacked by presumed jihadists,” another security source told AFP, adding that around ten soldiers had been killed.
“Multiple elements on the enemy side were also neutralized,” they said, without giving further details.
Natiaboani is a rural community about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Fada N’Gourma, the largest town in the Eastern Region administrative area that since 2018 has been regularly targeted by armed groups.
Around 15 youths were kidnapped by armed individuals during an attack on Friday in nearby Nagre, according to the country’s information agency.
Burkina Faso has seen an uptick in violence after a period of relative calm following a military junta taking power in January.
Disgruntled officers toppled elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who had been facing protests over his handling of the bloody jihadist insurgency.
In total, 23 civilians and 25 policemen or soldiers have been killed over the last 10 days.
Burkina Faso has been struggling with jihadist attacks since 2015, when militants linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group began mounting cross-border raids from Mali.
The violence has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced at least 1.7 million, according to an AFP tally.
In January alone, 160,000 fled their homes, a group of international charities said last Thursday.