Civilians, soldiers die in Burkina Faso attack


An armed group in northern Burkina Faso killed 30 civilians, soldiers and pro-government militiamen in a series of attacks near the Niger border, the defence ministry said.

The unidentified assailants struck villages near Markoye on Wednesday and then attacked responding security forces later, the ministry said in a statement.

The victims included 11 civilians, 15 soldiers and four members of a government-backed civilian militia. More than 10 attackers were killed, the statement said, adding the military regained control of the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Attacks by militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are surging in West Africa’s Sahel region, killing thousands and displacing millions in recent years across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

At least 132 people were killed by insurgents in May in Burkina Faso’s worst single attack yet.