Rebels kill 11 in northern Burkina Faso

Suspected jihadists have killed 11 people, including three volunteer army auxiliaries, in attacks on two villages in northern Burkina Faso, the Sahel regional governor said Tuesday.

The villages of Tiekaledji and Demniol, in Seno province “came under terrorist attack” on Sunday said Lieutenant-Colonel Rodolphe Sorgho in a statement. 

“The provisional toll from the attacks unfortunately lists 11 civilians killed, including three from the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP),” he added.

The security forces backed by VDP auxiliaries were combing the area, the statement added.

The army lost five soldiers during clashes on Saturday that it said also left 30 suspected jihadists dead after a raid on a military base in the north.

And last Thursday, 11 soldiers and 15 gunmen died in another attack, this time in the east of the nation, the army said.

Burkina Faso has been battered by jihadist raids since 2015, with movements linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and 1.8 million displaced.

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba overthrew elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore in January, accusing him of being ineffective in the face of jihadist violence.

The new leader says he has made the security crisis his priority, but after a relative lull in violence, a surge in attacks has claimed more than 200 lives.