Burkina Attack Kills 8 Soldiers

An attack on a military unit in Burkina Faso’s jihadist-hit north has killed eight soldiers, the army said Wednesday.

The unit “was ambushed” 11 kilometers (seven miles) from Oursi in Oudalan province in the Sahel region on Tuesday, the army said in a statement.

“In the face of heavy enemy fire… eight soldiers unfortunately lost their lives during the fighting and a dozen others were injured,” it said.

The army added “41 terrorists” were killed in the military’s response.

The unit was targeted in the same area where two soldiers died Monday.

Earlier on Wednesday, security sources gave a toll of seven.

“The wounded, some of them seriously, have been evacuated. Reinforcements have been deployed in the area,” one of the sources said.

The attack was the fourth in less than 10 days in northern Burkina Faso.

The landlocked African state is in the grip of a seven-year-old insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and forced nearly two million people to leave their homes.

On Monday, two soldiers died and a dozen “terrorists” were killed during an attack against a military detachment.

Earlier this month, at least 35 civilians were killed and 37 wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) blast struck a convoy carrying supplies between Djibo and Bourzanga.

The following day, at least nine people, seven civilians, and two soldiers, were killed in two separate attacks by suspected jihadists.

Burkina’s ruling junta, which seized power in January, has declared the fight against the insurgency a top priority.

Junta chief Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba sacked his defense minister Monday and assumed the role himself.

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