Jihadists kill 53 members of Burkina Faso security forces

The military reported on Tuesday that an assault by suspected jihadists in northern Burkina Faso has resulted in the tragic loss of 53 security force members’ lives.

In a statement released by the army general staff, it was confirmed that a total of 53 individuals, comprising 17 soldiers and 36 civilian army volunteers, lost their lives on Monday while defending against an attack.

The targeted unit had been stationed in the town of Koumbri within Yatenga province. Their mission was to facilitate the return and resettlement of residents who had been forcibly displaced from the area by jihadists over two years ago, as stated in the report.

Additionally, the army reported that approximately 30 members of the security forces sustained injuries during the assault.

It said that several attackers had been “neutralised” in a counter-operation and their combat equipment destroyed.

Operations are still under way in the area, it said.

In Burkina Faso, there were two military coups in the preceding year, both driven by frustration over the inability to contain a militant insurgency. This insurgency, which has led to the loss of thousands of lives since it spilled over from neighboring Mali in 2015, was the primary catalyst behind these coups.

An NGO’s tally indicates that over 16,000 individuals, comprising civilians, troops, and police, have lost their lives in militant attacks. This figure includes more than 5,000 casualties recorded since the beginning of the current year.

More than two million people have also been displaced within Burkina Faso, making it one of the worst internal displacement crises in Africa.

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