Five Burkina Faso Police Officers, 40 ‘Terrorists’ Die in Clashes

Five Burkinabe police officers have died in an attack in the center-east of Burkina Faso, with at least 40 of the attackers “neutralized” when the authorities launched a counter-attack, the army said Sunday.

The attack occurred on Saturday afternoon when members of a police mobile intervention force were targeted near Diougo-Yourga, in Koulpelogo province near the Togo border, the army said.

That attack “cost the lives of five police officers. Four others were evacuated and treated for injuries,” the military added in a statement.

“In response, at least forty terrorists were neutralised and equipment seized,” it said.

Koulpelogo was the scene of another deadly attack on August 7, when around 20 people were killed in Nohao near the town of Bittou, according to security and local sources.

In mid-July, Burkina Faso’s transitional president Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a September 2022 coup, deplored the “increasingly recurrent attacks against civilians,” saying the jihadists were displaying “cowardice.”

The apparent motive for the country’s two coups in recent years was anger at failures to stem a jihadist insurgency since it spilled over from neighboring Mali in 2015.

More than 16,000 civilians, troops, and police have died in jihadist attacks, according to an NGO count, including more than 5,000 since the start of this year.

More than two million people have also been displaced within Burkina Faso, making it one of the worst internal displacement crises in Africa.

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