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25 Nov 2020 | 11:21 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Gunmen kill defense volunteers in Soum province November 24

Unidentified gunmen kill five Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland members in Arbinda commune (Soum province) on November 24; further attacks possible in the near term

security
BFA

Event

Unidentified gunmen killed five Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP) members during clashes in Arbinda commune (Soum province) on Tuesday, November 24. The fighting took place in the village of Arra after the VDP were informed of the presence of armed men in the area. Three other VDP members are missing following the encounter. There has been no immediate confirmation of casualties among the gunmen.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Further attacks on security personnel across the country are possible.

Context

Militants in Burkina Faso often target educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces in attacks. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso (Est region), which is also known for high crime rates. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Advice

Those in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation and associated emergency measures (e.g. curfews, 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.

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