Eleven soldiers and 112 “terrorists” have been killed in recent days during several anti-jihadist operations in Burkina Faso, the target of deadly attacks in recent weeks, the army general staff announced on Thursday.
“Several large-scale operations were launched simultaneously as part of the reconquest of the national territory wanted by the President of the Transition”, indicates an army press release, without specifying the exact date of these.
“During the progress of our units, 11 of our fighters lost their lives on the field of honor. Four others who were injured were taken care of by health structures”, continues the staff. which specifies that the ground units were supported by air forces.
The army also indicates that 112 “terrorists” were “neutralized” (killed, editor’s note) and weapons, vehicles, and explosive devices were “destroyed or recovered”. The operations, carried out “for several days” are continuing in the north and east of the country, particularly affected by jihadist attacks.
According to the press release, they have made it possible to regain “control of certain areas”, and in particular the town of Partiaga, in the east of the country, where several civilians were killed at the end of February by armed jihadist groups.
No official report has been communicated to date for this attack. According to the Burkinabè Movement for Human and People’s Rights (MBDHP), around 60 civilians were killed.
“The forces have effectively set foot in Partiaga and have carried out search operations in order to allow a dignified burial of the civilians who have lost their lives following the abuses caused by the terrorists”, underlines the staff.
Through this operation, the army hopes to “completely restore peace within the populations”.
Burkina Faso, some 40% of whose territory is controlled by jihadist groups, has experienced an intensification of jihadist violence since the beginning of the year, with several dozen deaths – civilians or soldiers – almost every week.
Captain Ibrahim Traoré, a transitional president who came to power in a putsch nearly six months ago, expressed in February his “intact determination” to fight the jihadists.
The violence attributed to groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) organization has since 2015 left more than 10,000 dead – civilians and soldiers – according to NGOs, and some two million displaced.