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35 civilians killed in terrorist attack in Burkina Faso

Google Maps image locates Arbinda in Burkina Faso.

Google Maps image locates Arbinda in Burkina Faso.  

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80 extremists and seven soldiers also died in double attack

Burkina Faso was in mourning on Wednesday after jihadists killed 35 civilians, almost all of them women, in double attacks in the north, in one of the deadliest assaults in nearly five years of violence in the West African country.

Seven soldiers and 80 jihadists also died in Tuesday’s simultaneous attacks on the town of Arbinda and its military base in Soum province, which lasted “several hours” and was of a “rare intensity”, the army said.

Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger, has seen regular jihadist attacks which have left hundreds dead since 2015 when militant violence began to spread across the Sahel region.

“A large group of terrorists simultaneously attacked the military base and the civilian population in Arbinda,” the army Chief of Staff said in a statement.

“This barbaric attack resulted in the deaths of 35 civilian victims, most of them women,” President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said on Twitter, praising the “bravery and commitment” of the defence forces.

Government spokesman Remis Dandjinou later said 31 of the civilian victims were women, adding around 20 soldiers and six civilians were wounded.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has been blamed on militants linked to both the Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State groups.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:27:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/35-civilians-killed-in-terrorist-attack-in-burkina-faso/article30398806.ece

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