Burkina Faso’s army said Monday they had killed at least 128 “terrorists” in several operations this month after the new government vowed to tackle surging violence in the West African nation.
The first operation took place in the northwestern region of Boucle du Mouhoun bordering Mali, according to a statement by the military headquarters.
“Intelligence activities allowed us to identify terrorist locations and conduct serious offensives,” the statement said.
It added that “at least 100 terrorists” were killed in the operation.
Two soldiers died during the operation and 18 more were injured, the army said.
A second operation, following an attack on a mining site in Namisiguima in the north, left “more than 20 terrorists” dead.
The third operation, aimed to bring medical assistance to civilians near the Niger border in the northeast, was “planned as part of G5 Sahel and realized by the units of Burkina Faso and Niger.”
Eight “terrorists” were killed in that operation, the Burkinabe army said.
Created in 2014, the G5 Sahel was made up of some 5,000 soldiers from Mauritius, Chad, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali, until the Malian army recently withdrew.
Operations against armed jihadists groups — many linked to Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State — have increased in recent months, the Burkinabe army has said, sparking retaliatory attacks by the groups.
The new government led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba — who overthrew elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore in January — vowed to restore security, blaming Kabore of not doing enough.
But clashes have continued, and earlier this month, more than 80 civilians were killed in the northern commune of Seytenga in the country’s second-deadliest attack ever.
Since 2015, violence has left thousands dead and around two million displaced in Burkina Faso.