112 ‘Terrorists’ Killed in Recent Clashes: Burkina Army

Burkina Faso’s army said Thursday it had killed 112 “terrorists” in a series of clashes in recent days, losing 11 of its own soldiers.

A statement from the army’s command said several large-scale operations had been launched simultaneously to recapture territory in the country’s northeast, without saying precisely when.

As well as killing 112 “terrorists,” the army had also either destroyed or seized weapons, vehicles, and explosive devices.

Eleven soldiers were killed and another four wounded in the fighting, which saw troops on the ground supported by the air force, the statement added.

The operations were carried out over several days and continued in the region. The northeast of Burkina Faso has been particularly hard hit by jihadist violence.

Government troops had already been able to recover control of certain zones, in particular the eastern town of Partiaga, the army statement said.

Jihadist groups killed several civilians there in early March, and although the government has not released official figures, the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights (MBDHP) has put the toll at around 60.

Government soldiers were able to enter Partiaga and carry out search operations to allow for the burial of the civilians killed there, the army statement said.

Around 40 percent of Burkina Faso is effectively controlled by jihadist groups.

Despite vows by the ruling junta to prevail against the extremists, attacks have escalated since the start of the year, with the death toll currently averaging dozens per week.

Ibrahim Traore, the army captain who seized power nearly six months ago and is now acting president, reiterated his determination last month to fight the jihadists.

More than 10,000 civilians, troops, and police have been killed, according to an NGO estimate, while more than two million people have fled their homes.

One of the world’s poorest nations, Burkina Faso has been battling the jihadist insurgency since it spilled over from neighboring Mali in 2015.

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