Burkina Faso army kills 146 jihadists as Islamic extremist attacks grow in area

FILE -- Security forces patrol in the streets of Ouagadougou in the aftermath of an alleged terrorist attacks, in the capital Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 05 March 2018. EPA/LEGNAN KOULA

Burkina Faso’s armed forces have killed 146 jihadists in three counterterror operations in the northwest near the border with Mali, the army’s commander general said.

The army’s response came after armed men attacked Kain village in Yatenga province early Monday, killing 14 people, Gen. Moise Minoungou said on national television Monday night. The army response, including air support, included fighting in Bahn in the north region and Bomboro in the Boucle du Mouhoun region.

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The statement said there were light injuries and no deaths among security forces.

Islamic extremists in recent months have increased attacks in Burkina Faso’s volatile Sahel region. A Canadian man was recently kidnapped and killed, and another Canadian and Italian are missing.

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Gunmen in the past week killed at least 14 people in attacks on a marketplace and military base in the Sahel region. The base in Nassoumbou, in Soum province in the northeast, also was attacked in December 2016, with 12 military personnel killed.

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Burkina Faso is part of a five-nation regional counterterror force, the G5 Sahel, launched in 2017. Other members are Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

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