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Burkina army says killed over 50 ‘terrorists’

OUAGADOUGOU (AFP) – Burkina Faso’s armed forces said yesterday they had killed at least 50 “terrorists” in two operations.

A rapid reaction force responding to an ambush on Monday near Barakuy in the northwestern region of Boucle du Mouhoun “routed the assailants, killing at least 40 terrorists”, military headquarters said in a statement, using a term typically used for extremists. Troops conducted a sweep with backup from the air force, seizing combat equipment, it said, adding that “a few soldiers” were slightly wounded.”

Also on Monday, a commando unit launched an attack near Djigoue in the southwest of the country, near the border with Ivory Coast, it said.

The operation, carried out in coordination with volunteer forces, led to the death of 10 “terrorists” whose weapons were seized, the statement said.

Burkina Faso has been struggling since 2015 with an extremist insurgency that is mainly concentrated in the country’s north and west.

More than 2,000 people have died and almost two million fled their homes.

Mutinous troops, angered at mounting losses, ousted elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore in January.

The new strongman, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, said tackling the violence and restoring security is his top priority.