Monday 11 December 2017

Attacks in troubled Sahel leave at least six dead

Attacks in troubled Sahel leave at least six dead
(AFP 11/18/17)

At least five people were killed in northern Burkina Faso and one person died in eastern Chad, in the latest attacks in two Sahel countries badly hit by jihadists and militias, officials said Friday.

A armed group on Friday attacked Taouremba, a Burkinabe town about 60 kilometres (30 miles) from the Malian border, killing at least five people, said a local security source, reached by phone.

"At least four koglweogo [members of a self-defence group] and a municipal councillor were killed," the source said.

A security source in Abinda put the toll at "six or seven dead," adding that the assailants, numbering about half a dozen, had fled on motorbikes towards Djibo, the main town in Soum province.

Northern Burkina Faso, which shares a border with Mali and Niger, has borne the brunt of cross-border jihadist raids since early 2015. According to an official toll, 80 attacks have been carried out, leaving 133 dead.

In eastern Chad, meanwhile, "heavily armed men" raided the town of Koulbous late Wednesday, plundering the market, killing one person and wounding another before crossing into neighbouring Sudan, said a military source reached by phone from the capital Ndjamena.

Chad's border with Sudan is highly porous, and militia groups from the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur frequently cross into the country.

Chad and Burkina Faso are members of a new joint force, the G5 Sahel, which aims at strengthening security in five vulnerable countries on the rim of the Sahara. The other members are Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria.

Chad also has an arrangement with Sudan, dating to 2010, under which a joint force patrols their common border.

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