More than 70 soldiers killed in Burkina Faso, extremists say

Feb 24, 2023, 12:38 PM | Updated: Feb 25, 2023, 5:45 am

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for killing more than 70 soldiers, wounding dozens and taking five hostage, in an ambush on a military convoy in northern Burkina Faso.

The statement, posted Friday by Amaq, the group’s news agency, said it attacked a convoy trying to advance to areas under its control near Deou, in the Sahel’s Oudalan province. It said it seized weapons and chased retreating soldiers for miles into the desert.

Images released by the group show 54 slain bodies in military uniform lying in the bloodstained dirt, as well as more than 50 seized assault rifles and images of the five soldiers it said were taken prisoner.

The announcement comes one week after the attack in Deou and days after another attack in Tin-Akoff town, where locals and civil society groups say dozens more soldiers and civilians were killed when a military outpost was hit.

It’s unclear how many people have been killed in the two incidents. Last week the government confirmed that 51 soldiers died in the Deou ambush but it has not responded to requests for updated numbers or commented on the attack in Tin-Akoff.

Violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group has wracked the country for seven years killing thousands and displacing nearly 2 million people. Frustration at the government’s inability to stem the violence led to two coups last year, each one preceded by a major attack on the military.

This is the deadliest ambush on soldiers since the new junta leader, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, seized power in September and analysts say it could threaten his grip on power.

“There’s a persistent stream of militant attacks north of the country and the public is undoubtedly taking notice of their government’s inability to provide security. Any further attacks this colossal could threaten a public scene and even threaten to unseat the junta,” said Laith Alkhouri, CEO of Intelonyx Intelligence Advisory, which provides intelligence analysis.

One soldier involved in the ambush in Deou, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said their convoy was outnumbered as more than 300 jihadis encircled them, firing rockets and mortars. “We lost many men”, he said.

The large number of jihadis and the different colored headscarves they were wearing appeared like a coalition of many extremist franchises that he hadn’t seen before, he said.

The Islamic State and an al-Qaida linked group, known by its acronym JNIM, are not known to work together, but rather have been fighting each other for territory and influence in the country as well as in neighboring Mali where they operate. Analysts say it’s extremely unlikely they would have joined forces.

Some locals say the increase of jihadi violence against the military is revenge for torture and extrajudicial killings by soldiers against people presumed to be jihadis.

Hamadou Boureima Diallo, a local journalist in the Sahel’s Dori town, told The Associated Press by phone that he spoke with locals who witnessed the latest attack in Tin-Akoff and were able to flee and that they blamed the killings on revenge.

“These recent bloody attacks against soldiers is because when the soldiers arrest terrorists or presumed terrorists they torture them and make photos or videos that circulate on social media,” said Diallo, recounting what the locals said.

He added that they said: “We have seen some of the videos where presumed terrorists are being tortured. … This is not good.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


File - People shop at an Apple store in the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jerse...
Associated Press

A key inflation gauge tracked by the Fed slowed in February

The Federal Reserve's favored inflation gauge slowed sharply last month, an encouraging sign in the Fed's yearlong effort to cool price pressures through steadily higher interest rates.
1 day ago
FILE - The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output fr...
Associated Press

Musk, scientists call for halt to AI race sparked by ChatGPT

Are tech companies moving too fast in rolling out powerful artificial intelligence technology that could one day outsmart humans?
2 days ago
Associated Press

Starbucks leader grilled by Senate over anti-union actions

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz faced sharp questioning Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
3 days ago
FILE - The overdose-reversal drug Narcan is displayed during training for employees of the Public H...
Associated Press

FDA approves over-the-counter Narcan; here’s what it means

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling naloxone without a prescription, the first over-the-counter opioid treatment.
3 days ago
FILE - A Seattle police officer walks past tents used by people experiencing homelessness, March 11...
Associated Press

Seattle, feds seek to end most oversight of city’s police

  SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department and Seattle officials asked a judge Tuesday to end most federal oversight of the city’s police department, saying its sustained, decade-long reform efforts are a model for other cities whose law enforcement agencies face federal civil rights investigations. Seattle has overhauled virtually all aspects of its police […]
4 days ago
capital gains tax budgets...
Associated Press

Washington moves to end child sex abuse lawsuit time limits

People who were sexually abused as children in Washington state may soon be able to bring lawsuits against the state, schools or other institutions for failing to stop the abuse, no matter when it happened.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
More than 70 soldiers killed in Burkina Faso, extremists say