Twelve Ivorian soldiers killed in terror attack near the Burkina Faso border
Twelve Ivorian soldiers were killed and seven wounded in an attack at a northern border post near Burkina Faso early on Thursday, a senior officer at the army chief of staff’s office said.
Two other military gendarmes are reported missing, while one assailant was killed. The assailants were believed to have come from Burkina Faso, said the officer, speaking to Reuters by phone.
It was not yet clear who carried out Thursday’s attack, which was the deadliest in Ivory Coast since gunmen from al Qaeda’s North African branch stormed the beach resort of Grand Bassam in March 2016, killing 19 people.
Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso launched a joint military operation last month to tackle the expanding threat from Islamist jihadists linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel region.
Islamist groups with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda have sought to widen their influence in West Africa in recent years by carrying deadly attacks on a regular basis.
The landlocked nations of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have been worst hit in part because their unpoliced desert reaches have allowed fighters to ghost across borders undetected.