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Al-Qaeda affiliate kills dozens of soldiers in Sahel state – intelligence agency

Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin reportedly claims that its fighters killed 107 military men in Burkina Faso during a recent raid

More than 100 Burkina Faso soldiers have been killed in an attack on their base in the Mansila area near the border with Niger by Al-Qaeda affiliate Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) militants, the SITE Intelligence Group reported on Sunday.

In a report on its website, SITE, which tracks the online activity of jihadist organizations, said JNIM had claimed responsibility for the alleged June 11 assault in the West African nation.

The American agency quoted the jihadist group as saying in a statement that its “fighters stormed a military site in the town, where they killed 107 soldiers, and took control of the site” five days ago.

Footage reportedly shared online by the insurgents showed raging gunfire around the army base, with a display of dozens of weapons and ammunition. Several reports claimed that the rebels had captured at least seven Burkina Faso soldiers during the attack.

The former French colony’s authorities have yet to confirm the incident. However, the Mansila District Pupil and Student Association (AEECM) said in a statement on Saturday that people in the region had been “trembling with fear” as a result of extremist violence.

“Since Tuesday, the 11th of this month [June], ill-intentioned individuals have attacked the detachment, our homes, our shops, and all other representations of the country,” the non-profit group said. “Many of our fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters are missing,” it added.

Last week’s alleged attacks are said to have been the bloodiest since 2015, when Burkina Faso became embroiled in a cycle of violence perpetrated by jihadist groups affiliated with Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, which were already assaulting neighboring Mali and Niger.

Militants killed more than 8,400 people in Burkina Faso last year – more than double the number of deaths recorded the previous year, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

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The conference of Berlin, as illustrated in Illustrirte Zeitung.
Seeds of chaos: Here’s why Africa can’t trust Western ‘security guarantees’

In a report earlier this month, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) named the landlocked nation as the scene of the world’s most neglected displacement crisis for the second time in a row.

Around two million people are trapped in 39 blockaded towns across the landlocked nation, leaving hundreds of thousands without access to aid, according to the NRC report.

The military rulers of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have cited the growing activities of militants in the Sahel region as a reason for staging coups to overthrow their civilian governments. The three West African nations have kicked French troops out for allegedly failing to quell the jihadists after a decade of their counter-insurgency mission.

June 17, 2024 at 03:15PM

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