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02 Mar 2020 | 08:54 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Gunmen kill ten policemen in Sebba (Yagha province) February 29

Gunmen kill ten policemen, wound three in attack on Sebba (Yagha province) February 29; heightened security presence expected over the near term

security
BFA

Event

According to media sources, unidentified gunmen simultaneously attacked the police station and the military base in Sebba (Yagha province) in the early hours (local time) of Saturday, February 29. The gunmen reportedly targeted the city's telecommunication installations before launching the attack on the city, considered the heaviest loss recorded by the Burkinabe police in a single attack. At least ten policemen were killed and three others wounded in the attack.

Further attacks remain possible in Yagha province over the near term.

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency in 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 frequently targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread across other areas.

Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam, the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM) as well as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

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.