Twenty-eight people have died in new attacks by suspected insurgent groups in Burkina Faso, including 15 who had been abducted at the weekend.
Fifteen bodies bearing bullet impacts were found on Monday near Linguekoro, a village in the western province of Comoe, regional governor Colonel Jean-Charles Some said Tuesday in a statement.
They were among 24 people who were aboard two minibuses travelling from Banfora that were stopped in Linguekoro by armed men on Sunday evening, he said.
“The passengers, comprising eight men and 16 women, were told to get off. Eight women and one man were released and told to walk to Mangodara (30 kilometres away), he said.
The two minibuses were then torched and the 15 other passengers were taken away.
Separately, 10 police officers, two members of an auxiliary force supporting the army, and a civilian died in northern Burkina Faso from a “terrorist attack on Monday” in the locality of Falagountou, which also goes by the spelling of Falangoutou, army headquarters said.
At least five police were wounded and about 10 are missing, while the bodies of about 15 “terrorists” were found during a sweep, it said.
Violence linked to Al Qaeda and the Daesh terror groups has killed thousands of people and forced around two million more to flee their homes. More than a third of the country lies beyond the control of the government.
Also in January, 62 women and four babies were abducted as they foraged for food in Arbinda, in the north of the country.
They were rescued by the army several days later at a location 200 kilometres away, according to the state-run media.
Frustration within the army at the mounting toll of security forces triggered two coups last year.
The ruling junta has fallen out with France, the country’s traditional ally and military supporter, which last week said it would withdraw its troops at the authorities’ request.
Thousands of demonstrators rallied in the capital on Saturday to celebrate the pullout, and some called for Burkina Faso to follow Mali in weaving a close alliance with Moscow.