Burkina Faso: at least 14 dead in two attacks in the north

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At least fourteen people, including eight civilian army replacements, were killed Monday in two separate attacks by jihadist groups in northern Burkina Faso, security and local sources told AFP on Tuesday.

"Armed individuals attacked in the early hours of Monday the village of Safi, located in the Boala commune, near Kaya (central north). The Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP, civilian auxiliaries to the army) who were directly targeted lost eight members," a security source told AFP.

Several other elements were also injured in the attack, the same source said.

A local VDP official, contacted in Kaya, confirmed the attack, citing a toll of "7 dead, 10 wounded and significant material damage".

"On the same day, near Markoye, in the northeastern province of Oudalan, armed individuals killed six civilians and took away vehicles and other property," the security source added.

"The terrorists kidnapped three young people on the Salmossi-Markoye road, who was later found dead in the bush during the day (Monday)," said a relative of the victims contacted by AFP.

"They stripped several people who fell on them on the axis, and took away vehicles," added this source.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been regularly plunged into mourning by increasingly frequent jihadist attacks that have killed thousands and forced some two million people to flee their homes.

These attacks have increased in recent months, mainly in the north and east of the country.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who led a military coup on September 30 against Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, was sworn in as president of the transitional government by the Constitutional Council on October 21.

This was the second coup d'état in Burkina Faso in eight months, and each time the coup leaders cited a deteriorating security situation.

On January 24, soldiers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba overthrew President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was accused of laxity in the face of jihadist attacks.

On October 25, the new government launched the recruitment of 50,000 Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP), civilian auxiliaries to the army, who are to "reinforce the ranks of the army in the fight against terrorism.

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