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11 Feb 2020 | 07:47 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Militants attack security post in Tanwalbougou February 10 /update 1

Unidentified gunmen assault a gendarmerie checkpoint in Tanwalbougou (Est region) on February 10; at least eight attackers killed

security
BFA

Event

A group of unidentified gunmen assaulted a gendarmerie position in Tanwalbougou (Est region) on the morning (local time) of Monday, February 10. According to military officials, eight attackers were killed and another was captured following the attack. The soldiers did not suffer any casualties, but several civilians in a passenger bus were reportedly wounded by crossfire. Security forces also recovered several motorcycles, weapons, and other equipment during recovery operations. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault.

Similar attacks are possible in Est region 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 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.