OUAGADOUGOU-Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 18 people and wounded several during a raid on a restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital overnight, but security forces shot dead both attackers and freed people trapped inside the building.
Suspected jihadists killed at least 27 people in attacks on villages in northern Burkina Faso at the weekend, sources said Monday.
In the northwest of the country, “about 15” people, some of them children, were killed late Sunday at Bourasso in Kossi province, a security official said, giving a provisional toll.
Armed men moved around the village at around 5:00 pm, firing in the air. They came back at night and blindly opened fire on people.
On Saturday, another deadly attack also took place in Namissiguima, in the northern province of Yatenga, according to another security source.
A dozen military soldiers and four volunteer fighters who work alongside the army died when their military unit was attacked at 5 a.m. in Namissiguima town in the Center North region, said a statement by the armed forces. An additional 21 soldiers were wounded and equipment was also damaged, said the statement.
More than 40 percent of the country lies outside the control of the government, according to report.
Burkina Faso underwent a coup in January, when disgruntled colonels ousted elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
A new multinational military force was launched last month to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel region, a huge band of territory that fringes the Sahara desert and stretches right across North Africa. However, the force will not be operational until later this year and currently faces a budget shortfall.
Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, declared security to be his top priority but after a relative lull, attacks resumed, with the loss of hundreds of lives.
Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.
Security situation continues to deteriorate, it also shows the ability of jihadist groups to carry out sophisticated and complex attacks.
The country has been caught up in a spiral of violence since 2015, attributed to armed jihadist movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which has left thousands dead and 1.9 million displaced.