Burkina Faso ‘kills 146 militants’

Fourteen civilians were killed in a jihadist attack in northern Burkina Faso near the Mali border, the military said on Monday.

The army conducted raids in three northern provinces in response and said it had “neutralised” 146 militants, according to a report that AFP could not immediately confirm from an independent source.

The jihadist attack, which took place in the town of Kain in the Yatenta province bordering Mali, is one of the most serious recorded in the country and came on the eve of a G5 Sahel summit in Ouagadougou.

Army spokesman Colonel Lamoussa Fofana said in a statement: “On the night of Sunday 3 February to Monday, 4 February, 2019 a terrorist attack in Kain left 14 civilian victims.

“In response to this attack, the national defence and security forces immediately began operations in the Kain, Banh (Loroum Province, north) and Bomboro (Kossi Province, northwest) areas.

“This counterattack… resulted in a land and air operation which neutralised 146 terrorists in the three areas,” the statement said.

A military source confirmed to AFP that the term “neutralise” meant kill.

Ouagadougou has been hit three times since 2016, with nearly 60 lives lost. The last attack, in March 2018, hit the army headquarters in the city centre.

The Kain attack came just before a summit of the five Sahel countries — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger — to be held in the capital on Tuesday.