35 Civilians, 80 Terrorists Killed In Double Burkina Faso Attack

Seven soldiers and 80 terrorists were also killed in the double attack on a military base and Arbinda town in Soum province, the army said.

35 Civilians, 80 Terrorists Killed In Double Burkina Faso Attack

Attacks have targeted mostly the north and east of the country. (Representational)

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:

A terrorist attack in northern Burkina Faso on Tuesday killed 35 civilians, almost all of them women, the president said, one of the deadliest assaults in nearly five years of terrorist violence in the West African country.

Seven soldiers and 80 terrorists were also killed in the double attack on a military base and Arbinda town in Soum province, the army said.

Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger, has seen regular terrorist attacks which have left hundreds dead since the start of 2015 when the violence began to spread across the Sahel region.

"A large group of terrorists simultaneously attacked the military base and the civilian population in Arbinda," the army chief of staff said in a statement.

"This barbaric attack resulted in the deaths of 35 civilian victims, most of them women," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore added on Twitter, praising the "bravery and commitment" of the defence and security forces.

Communications minister and government spokesman Remis Dandjinou later said 31 of the civilian victims were women, adding around twenty soldiers were injured.

The president has declared 48-hours of national mourning.

The morning raid was carried out dozens of terrorists on motorbikes and lasted several hours before armed forces backed by the air force drove the terrorists back, the army said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but terrorist violence in Burkina Faso has been blamed on terrorists linked to both Al Qaeda and ISIS groups.

560,000 internally displaced 

Leaders of the G5 Sahel nations held summit talks in Niger earlier this month, calling for closer cooperation and international support in the battle against the ISIS threat.

The violence has spread across the vast Sahel region, especially in Burkina Faso and Niger, having started when armed ISIS terrorists revolted in northern Mali in 2012.

The Sahel region of Africa lies to the south of the Sahara Desert and stretches across the breadth of the African continent.

The G5 group is made up of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, whose impoverished armies have the support of French forces as well as the UN in Mali.

In Burkina Faso, more than 700 people have been killed and around 560,000 internally displaced, according to the United Nations.

Attacks have targeted mostly the north and east of the country, though the capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times.

Prior to Tuesday's attack, Burkina security forces said they had killed around a hundred terrorists in several operations since November. 

An ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in November killed 37 people.

Attacks have intensified this year as the under-equipped, poorly trained Burkina Faso army struggles to contain the terrorism.

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