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AFP
November 8, 2019

37 killed in Burkina Faso’s deadliest attack in five years

World

AFP
November 8, 2019

OUAGADOUGOU: An ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in Burkina Faso killed 37 people on Wednesday, the deadliest attack in nearly five years of militant violence in the West African country.

The impoverished and politically fragile Sahel country has been struggling to quell a rising militants' revolt that has claimed hundreds of lives since early 2015. On Wednesday morning "unidentified armed individuals" ambushed five buses carrying local employees, contractors and suppliers of the Samafo mining company, said Saidou Sanou, the governor of the country´s Est Region.

As well as the 37 civilians killed, 60 were wounded, he said. Mine owner Semafo Inc. said the five buses escorted by the military were approximately 40 kilometres from the Boungou gold mine in the Tapoa province when they were ambushed. A security source said "a military vehicle that was escorting the convoy hit an explosive device". "Two buses carrying workers were then fired upon," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Burkina Faso´s government said the gunmen had conducted a "complex attack", adding that defence and security forces had launched a relief operation and were searching the area. It was the third deadly attack on Canadian firm Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, in 15 months. "We are actively working with all levels of authorities to ensure the ongoing safety and security of our employees, contractors and suppliers," Semafo said in a statement, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

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