Jihadists kill at least 11 people in an ambush in Burkina Faso

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Jihadists killed at least three soldiers and eight civilian auxiliaries in an attack on Saturday in Burkina Faso’s volatile north, security sources told AFP.

The soldiers, who were patrolling with the auxiliaries, were ambushed in the Bouroum district, a source said.

Another source, confirming the attack, said the toll could rise, adding that two people were still missing. The ambush happened near Silmangue, in Namentenga province, the source said.

The latest attack comes after a September 30 coup that overthrew Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba – who himself took power in January – and a day after Captain Ibrahim Traoré, 34, was appointed to succeed him as the transitional presidency.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has a long history of coups since independence from France in 1960.

The latest are rooted in unrest within the ranks of the military over the jihadist insurgency that swept through neighboring Mali in 2015.

Thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million have been displaced and more than a third of the country is beyond government control.

Traoré pledged to honor Damiba’s commitment to return to civilian government by July 2024 at the latest.

But like Damiba before him, Traoré defended the coup on the grounds that the authorities were not doing enough against the jihadists.

Damiba fled on October 2 after a weekend of violent protests that also targeted the French embassy and saw demonstrators raising Russian flags.