9 killed in Burkina Faso attack

Nine people were killed in northern Burkina Faso late on Sunday, in the latest attack in a region struggling with a jihadist revolt, a security official said.

“Armed individuals carried out an attack on the village of Zoura, killing nine people, all of them civilians,” the source said on Monday.

A resident in the nearby town of Kongoussi said the assailants “arrived in the village before the start of curfew (at 18:30 and opened fire shortly afterwards. They also ransacked a shop and made off with cattle.”

“Not a day goes by without an gun attack, and the number of displaced people arriving in Kongoussi just keeps going up,” the resident said.

Zoura lies in Bam, one of a swathe of provinces in northern Burkina Faso that have been battling with a four-year-old wave of jihadist violence that came from neighbouring Mali.

The attacks – typically hit-and-run raids on villages, road mines and suicide bombings – have claimed around 600 lives nationally, according to an AFP toll.

Out of 486 000 who have fled their homes, 270 000 are in the north, according to the government figures.

On Saturday, four soldiers and a police officer were killed and 11 others injured in twin attacks in the embattled north.

One took place in Bahn, in Loroum province, and the other in Yense, in Yatenga province.

Burkina Faso is an impoverished and politically fragile country in the heart of the Sahel, and its security forces are badly-equipped, poorly trained and under-funded.

France has a force of 200 in Burkina Faso but also intervenes frequently as part of its regional Barkhane operation.