Burkina Faso says 28 killed in two attacks by armed assailants

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At least 28 people, including soldiers and civilians, were killed in two attacks by armed assailants on Sunday and Monday in Burkina Faso, a regional governor and the army said in separate statements on Monday.

The army said a combat unit in Falangoutou, in the north of the country near its border with Niger, came under attack and that 10 soldiers, two fighters of the volunteer force and a civilian were killed.

The army said the corpses of 15 assailants were found after the attack.

In a separate statement on Monday, Colonel Jean Charles dit Yenapono Some, governor of the country’s Cascades region in the south near the border with Ivory Coast, said the bodies of 15 men, all civilians, had been found following an attack on Sunday.

The governor said armed men stopped two transport vehicles carrying eight women and 16 men. “This January 30, the corpses of the victims, showing signs of bullet impact, were found near Linguekoro village,” the governor said in the statement.

The West Africa Sahel state and its neighbours Mali and Niger are is battling insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

The militants have occupied territory in the country’s arid and mainly rural north, executing hundreds of villagers and displacing nearly 2 million more. They have blockaded towns and villages, worsening a food crisis.

Insecurity because of militant attacks contributed to political instability and two military two coups in the country in January and September 2022.

Attacks by the militants have spread to the south, where they have also carried out cross-border raids in coastal states including Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo.