Burkina Faso army says 30 civilians died in airstrike

Burkina Faso’s army said on Wednesday that civilians were killed in an airstrike against jihadists, as local residents reported that around 30 people had died.

In a statement, army headquarters said “targeted actions” were carried out in the east on Monday against “terrorist groups responsible for various atrocities”.

“During these operations, which allowed several dozen terrorists to be neutralized, the strikes unfortunately caused casualties among the civilian population,” it said.

The civilians were near a jihadist hideout on the Kompienga-Pognoa highway when they were hit by “projectiles”, the text said.

It gave no other details but expressed “sincere condolences” to relatives of the dead and said an investigation had been launched.

Local residents said around 30 people had died, most of whom were women.

“They had gathered for the inauguration of a mill when the tragedy happened,” said one, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Monday’s operations were undertaken in Djamanga, Djabiga, Mandeni, Bounou, Obiagou and Pognoa-Sankoado, the army statement said.

The military typically uses the term “terrorist” for armed groups behind a ruthless jihadist insurgency.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso first came under attack in 2015 from militants operating in neighboring Mali.

Since then, thousands of people have died, around two million have been displaced and more than a third of the country’s territory is outside government control, according to official figures.

Attacks have increased since the beginning of the year, despite a coup by colonels whose declared priority is to restore security.

In recent months, airstrikes have been increasingly used against the jihadists.

The military has previously acknowledged the death of a civilian it said occurred on June 11 during a strike on armed traffickers in the south. Military prosecutors have opened an investigation

Burkina Faso army says 30 civilians died in airstrike

Source link Burkina Faso army says 30 civilians died in airstrike

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