Gunmen kill 14 in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region in 2 attacks


OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) – Gunmen have killed at least 14 people in Burkina Faso’s volatile Sahel region in the past two days, attacking a marketplace and military base, officials said Monday.

Nearly a dozen gunmen opened fire on civilians at a Sunday market in the Soum province, killing at least 10 people and injuring two others, said security minister Ousseni Compaore. The attack on Sikire in the northern Sahel region took place in the middle of the day while the market was full, he said, adding that investigations into the attack are ongoing.

Early Monday, gunmen attacked a base of anti-terrorist forces further west in the Soum province in Nassoumbou, burning tents and equipment and killing four people, said the director of the local national television, Bouma Nebie.

The same base was attacked in December 2016, when 12 military forces were killed.

Islamic extremists have increased attacks in the Sahel region, forcing Burkina Faso to declare a state of emergency there.

The extremist threat has also shifted from the northern Sahel region, home to radicalized local preacher Ibrahim Malam Dicko, into the forested east near the border with Niger.

Burkina Faso is part of a five-nation regional counterterror force, the G5 Sahel, launched in 2017.