Five killed in twin attacks on Burkina Faso government forces
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Four soldiers and a police officer were killed and 11 more injured in twin attacks early Saturday in the north of Burkina Faso, the army said in a statement.
"Military units in Bahn (Loroum province) and Yense (Yatenga province) were targeted by almost simultaneous terrorist attacks" at around 3:00 am, the statement said.
"These attacks unfortunately cost the lives of five personnel in the units, including one police officer. Eleven soldiers were also injured," the statement added.
The army said the security forces had successfully fought off assailants before the arrival of reinforcements.
Until 2015, the poor West African country Burkina Faso was largely spared violence that hit Mali and then Niger, its neighbours to the north.
But jihadists -- some linked to Al-Qaeda, others to the so-called Islamic State group -- started infiltrating the north, then the east, and then endangered the southern and western borders of the landlocked country.
Combining guerrilla hit-and-run tactics with road mines and suicide bombings, the insurgents have killed nearly 600 people, according to a toll compiled by AFP.
Civil society groups put the number at more than 1,000, with attacks no taking place on almost a daily basis.
Burkina's defence and security forces are badly-equipped, poorly trained and have shown themselves to be unable to put a halt to the increasing violence.
France has a force of 200 in Burkina Faso but also intervenes frequently as part of its regional Barkhane operation.
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