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Attack by extremists in Burkina Faso kills at least 19

November 23, 2021 GMT

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — At least 19 people, including nine security force members, have been killed during an attack by suspected extremists in Burkina Faso, the government-press agency said Tuesday.

The attack Sunday in Foube in the Center-North region also injured a staff member from the aid group Doctors Without Borders and burned down a healthcare center, said the organization. The violence was likely targeting a gendarme post a few hundred meters away.

“We are shocked by this news and alarmed by this situation,” said Mamadou Diarra, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Burkina Faso. “The health post is now completely destroyed and can no longer treat patients. The violence continues to increase daily in Burkina Faso, trapping the Burkinabe people a little more each day, which is unacceptable.”

The attack is the latest in escalating violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State across the country, that’s killed thousands and displaced more than 1.4 million people. Earlier this month more than 50 people were killed, including 49 gendarmes in the Sahel’s Soum province.

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A civilian in the nearby town of Barsalogho told The Associated Press the jihadists hid behind a group of displaced people before they attacked and that there were a lot of people injured. He spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his security.

Frustration is mounting at the government’s inability to stem the violence, with protests planned for Nov. 27 to demand President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s resignation.

“The country is falling. There are entire areas that are controlled by terrorists,” said Mamadou Drabo, executive secretary for Save Burkina, a civil society group.

“We think that if the president resigns, someone else will be able to handle the problem because we realize that the president is the problem,” he said.