At least 16 killed in Burkina Faso army base attack

A mutinous soldier fires into the air at the Bobo interchange, near the Lamizana camp in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou Sunday Jan. 23, 2022. Witnesses are reporting heavy gunfire at a military base raising fears that a coup attempt is underway. Government spokesman Alkassoum Maiga acknowledged the gunfire but denied that the military had taken over the West African country. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia)
A mutinous soldier fires into the air at the Bobo interchange, near the Lamizana camp in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou Sunday Jan. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia)

At least 12 soldiers and four paramilitary fighters were killed and 21 wounded in an attack on an army base in Burkina Faso’s insurgent-hit centre-north on Friday.

According to a statement from the army , the attack took place early in the morning at Burkina Faso’s Namissiguima military base in the province of Sanmatenga.

Without providing much information on the assailants, the death toll from the attack still remains unknown with authorities ensuring that the place has been secured.

The West African nation is battling a jihadist insurgency that has spread from neighbouring Mali over the past decade, with groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State staging deadly raids and gaining ground in both Burkina Faso and the countries’ other neighbour Niger.

The violence has already killed thousands of people and forced more than 2 million to flee their homes in the Sahel region despite the presence of foreign troops and United Nations peacekeeping missions.