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04 Jan 2020 | 09:11 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: IED blast kills at least 14 in the Sourou province January 4

Improvised explosive device (IED) attack injures 14 in the Sourou province; similar incidents possible over the near term

security
BFA

Event

An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in the Souru province left at least 14 people dead and four others injured in the afternoon (local time) on Saturday, January 4. The victims, mostly students, were traveling on a public bus. Authorities stated that local security and rescue forces were dispatched shortly after the incident occurred.

Similar attacks are possible in Soum province in 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 to 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.