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Four Burkina Faso gendarmes killed in attack on base in Barani near Mali border

Four Burkina Faso paramilitary police were killed on Thursday, March 28 in an attack on a base near the border with Mali, a region that sees frequent attacks by jihadists, security sources said.

The base in Barani “was the target of a terrorist attack led by an unidentified armed group at around 5 a.m.,” the source told AFP.

Barani is in Kossi province in the Boucle du Mahoun region.

Another source reported “major material damage including a burnt vehicle” and said the security forces had launched a search and sweep operation.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has been battling an escalating wave of attacks over the last three years, beginning in the North region near the border with Mali.

The country lies in the heart of the sprawling, impoverished Sahel, on the southern rim of the Sahara.

Attacks have spread to the East region, near the border with Togo, Benin and Niger, and to a lesser extent, the west of the country.

In December, 10 gendarmes were killed and three wounded in an ambush as they headed to Loroni in Sourou province in the same region, around 100 km northeast of Barani.

That attack prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in provinces within seven of the country’s 13 administrative regions.

Most attacks are attributed to the jihadist group Ansar ul Islam, which emerged near the Mali border in December 2016, and to the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM), which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Both civilians and security forces have paid a heavy price, with the death toll now standing at more than 300 since 2015.

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With reporting from AFP

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