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25 Feb 2020 | 11:03 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Attack in Sanmatenga province leaves four dead February 24

Armed attack in Sanmatenga province leaves four dead February 24; similar attacks possible over the near term

security
BFA

Event

An unidentified group of armed assailants attacked a team from the intervention unit of the national police (UIP-PN) in Sanmatenga province on the morning (local time) of Monday, February 24, killing four people and wounding five more. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of Tuesday, February 25.

Similar attacks are possible in the area over the near term.

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions on January 1 due to militant operations. 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.