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Suspected militants kill 13 soldiers in eastern Burkina Faso

March 21, 2022 GMT

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — At least 13 soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in Burkina Faso’s eastern Gourma province in an ambush by suspected Islamic extremists, the army announced Monday.

A number of the attackers were killed in the incident, according to the army statement.

With air support, the military has secured the area, it said. The army has for several days been carrying out large-scale operations to regain control of several areas that had been held by Islamic extremists, including Pama, Madjoari and Foutouri, said the statement.

Burkina Faso’s military seized power in a coup in January, overthrowing President Roch Marc Christian Kabore saying that he had failed to stem growing jihadi violence in the once peaceful West African nation. Kabore has been under house arrest in the capital, Ouagadougou, since his ouster.

The junta has vowed to secure Burkina Faso from growing jihadi violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group that’s killed thousands and displaced more than 1.5 million people.