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17 Feb 2020 | 07:43 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Militants execute five hostages in Sahel region February 14

Officials in Sahel region confirm on February 14 that militants executed five hostages abducted earlier in the week; similar attacks likely over the near term

security
BFA

Event

The governor of the Sahel region confirmed on Friday, February 14, that five people abducted from the village of Sebba (Yahgha province) have been killed. Militants kidnapped seven people, including a pastor, from Sebba on the night (local time) of Monday, February 10. At least one person was killed in the initial attack, and a vehicle and other material were also stolen. Security forces rescued two victims during search operations on Thursday, February 13, which led to the recovery of the bodies of the five other individuals.

Similar militant attacks in the region are likely 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.