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03 Dec 2019 | 02:28 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Soldiers kill at least 20 militants in security operation December 3 /update 1

At least 20 militants killed and another 20 wounded in military raid on December 3; similar counterterrorism operations possible in the near term

security
BFA

Event

Military officials announced on Tuesday, December 3, that soldiers had killed 20 militants and wounded 20 others in a security operation. The official statement did not specify where the raid took place. The announcement comes one day after three soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in simultaneous militant attacks on military outposts in Toeni (Sourou province) and Bahn (Loroum province).

Similar counterterrorism operations are possible in the near term.

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions on January 1, to remain in effect until January 12, 2020.

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 to 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 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.