State of emergency extended in Burkina Faso

401

Burkina Faso’s parliament voted to extend a state of emergency by six months in several northern provinces where attacks by Islamist militants surged in recent months, including one on Thursday that killed 12.

Government said the latest attack was carried out by three dozen jihadists on Gasseliki in Soum province near the Malian border.

Gasseliki residents told Reuters the men opened fire and set fire to shops in town.

Burkina Faso imposed the state of emergency on December 31 after militants killed 10 gendarmes in a single attack.

Security deteriorated in Burkina as jihadists – including many based in Mali – seek to increase influence across the poorly policed scrublands of the Sahel region.

An attack last week set off a bout of ethnic violence that killed dozens of civilians, raising fears militants are looking to replicate a tactic they have used in Mali to bolster community support.