Suspected Jihadists Kill 11 in Eastern Burkina Faso

Five women, a man, and five army volunteers have died in a series of attacks in eastern Burkina Faso over the last two days, local and security sources said Tuesday.

The women died on Monday when the boody-trapped body of a young man killed the day before exploded in central-eastern Burkina, where jihadist attacks are frequent, several local people said.

The young man and three friends had been “intercepted by armed terrorists in Bagmoussa village” on Sunday, a local official told AFP by telephone.

“Three managed to escape but unfortunately the fourth was killed by the terrorists,” he said, referring to jihadist groups.

On Monday morning, village women set off to bury the man, only for his body to explode.

“Four women died immediately… four others were seriously wounded,” a villager said. One of the injured later died.

The villager said the attack came several days after an army operation in the area saw dozens of “terrorists” killed.

A local official for the West African nation’s VDP volunteer militia said five members of the civilian force had died on Monday in an ambush near Ougarou town in Gourma province. Two more had been wounded.

He said several of the attackers had been killed in the VDP riposte.

One of the world’s poorest nations, Burkina Faso is fighting a jihadist insurgency that spread from neighboring Mali in 2015.

More than 10,000 civilians, troops, and police are believed to have been killed, two million people have been displaced, and jihadists effectively control about 40 percent of the country.

Frustration within the armed forces at failures to roll back the insurgency triggered two coups last year.

Despite the ruling junta’s pledges to win back lost territory, attacks have escalated since the start of the year, with the death toll averaging dozens per week.

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