Three Westerners among four missing in Burkina Faso attack

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Burkina Faso soldiers patrol on the road of Gorgadji, in the Sahel area, in March 2019. Photograph: Luc Gnago/REUTERS
File photo: Burkina Faso soldiers patrol on the road of Gorgadji in the Sahel area in March 2019. Luc Gnago, REUTERS.

Four people, including three Europeans and a Burkinabe, were missing after an anti-poaching patrol was attacked in eastern Burkina Faso on Monday, security and local sources said.

The group — composed of soldiers, forest rangers and foreign reporters — was targeted in the Fada N’Gourma-Pama area, according to a local official, who added “the provisional toll reports three people injured, four missing”.

The attack was also confirmed by security sources, with one saying the Westerners included “two Spaniards and an Irishman, all of whom were working on behalf of an NGO protecting the environment”.

“According to survivors, two of the foreigners were wounded during the attack. The search is ongoing” to find the four missing people, added the source.

The attackers used two pick-up vehicles and a dozen motorbikes, according to security sources.

Burkina Faso, a poor, landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, has been battling an Islamist insurgency for years.

The nation has endured regular attacks, sometimes intertwined with community conflicts since jihadists from neighbouring Mali launched raids in 2015.

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