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Two Burkina gendarmes killed in ‘terrorist attack’ in north

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By Agence France-Presse

A “terrorist attack” left two gendarmes dead and one seriously wounded in the north of Burkina Faso where jihadist violence has raged since 2015, the national police said Tuesday.

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The attack occurred Monday in the Arbinda region, where a team of gendarmes was called to repair a mechanical breakdown for a convoy escorting a delivery of food and water, the gendarmerie said in a statement.

The team “was the target of a terrorist attack on the Gorgadji-Arbinda road,” the statement said.

One of the assailants was shot dead, the statement said, appealing to the public to step up cooperation with security forces.

Arbinda has suffered a series of deadly attacks in recent months.

On June 10, 19 people were killed in a massive raid by several dozen assailants.

Another 62 people died in early April at the hands of jihadists and in subsequent inter-communal clashes.

Burkina Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a number of jihadist groups, including the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

More than 1,000 people have fled their homes because of the unrest in the region, finding refuge in the capital Ouagadougou, in the center of the country.

The north of the former French colony, near the borders with Mali and Niger, has been particularly hard hit. The raids began in 2015 in the north before spreading to Ouagadougou — which has been hit three times — and other regions, notably in the east.

The attacks have killed more than 460 people, according to an AFP tally.

Inter-communal violence, often aggravated by the jihadist violence, has added to the insecurity.

In May, Burkina Faso’s armed forces launched a major operation in the Sahel region in the north and center-north of the country to try to crack down on the jihadist threat.

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