Suspected jihadists killed 14 soldiers in an attack in northern Burkina Faso on Monday, the defense ministry said, in the latest bloodshed to affect the region stricken by Islamic violence.
Junior Defense Minister General Ame Barthélemy Simpore said Yirgou’s troops were the “target of a terrorist attack” around 0500 GMT on Monday in the Barsalogho department of the Centre-Nord region.
“Fourteen soldiers died during the fighting and seven wounded were evacuated,” he said in a statement.
He praised the soldiers’ “great fighting spirit”, saying “many terrorists were killed during the response.”
A ground and air countermeasure was immediately launched “to neutralize the attackers”, he said.
A security source told AFP that a huge amount of equipment was destroyed, some of which were burnt and some were snatched by the attackers.
Burkina Faso has seen regular, deadly jihadist attacks since 2015, mostly in the northern and eastern regions close to the Mali and Niger borders.
But on Saturday, it was struck south, with two soldiers killed by a makeshift bomb at Larabin, near the Ivory Coast border.
Back in the north, five soldiers were killed last Wednesday during a reconnaissance mission in Mentao, also by a makeshift bomb, the armed forces said.
In mid-September, a suspected jihadist attack killed six linguists guarding fuel tanks for a mining company.
Such attacks, usually blamed on jihadist groups linked to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, have killed nearly 2,000 people and forced more than 1.4 million to flee their homes.