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17 Feb 2020 | 07:52 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Unidentified gunmen kill 24 in Pansi (Yagha province) February 16

Unidentified gunmen kill 24 and wound 18 villagers in Pansi (Yagha province) February 16; similar attacks possible in the near term

security
BFA

Event

On Sunday, February 16, unidentified gunmen attacked the village of Pansi (Yagha province) located near the border with Niger, killing at least 24 people and wounding 18 others after reportedly separating locals from non-residents. The assailants then looted several shops before fleeing the area.

Further attacks remain possible over the near term.

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions on January 1. Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are especially targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread across other regions.

Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Advice

Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation, obey local regulations (e.g. state-of-emergency orders), and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.

Due to severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.