Burkina Faso bus hits IED


Fourteen people were killed and 19 wounded when a bus carrying students ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in northern Burkina Faso, government said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blast, which hit one bus in a convoy of three carrying 160 passengers in all, it said in a statement.

The incident occurred in Sourou province, near the border with Mali, where Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State increased attacks over the past two years despite international efforts to stamp them out.

Sources said earlier the convoy was ferrying pupils back from an end-of-year school break. The government statement said seven students were among the dead, without providing their ages.

“Government strongly condemns this cowardly and barbaric act which aims to damage people’s morale,” the statement said.

Burkina lost its reputation as a pocket of relative calm in the Sahel as a home-grown insurgency is amplified by a spill-over of jihadist violence and crime from Mali, rendering much of the north ungovernable.

Attacks over the past year killed hundreds and forced nearly a million people from their homes.

Insurgents killed 35 mostly female civilians on December 24 after attacking a military outpost in Soum Province, in the north. About 87 militants and local security forces were killed in the clash, authorities said.