Suspected Islamist militants attacked a gendarmerie post in Gayéri (Komondjari province; east) on Tuesday, September 4, and set fire to several vehicles, prompting local residents to flee. The attack reportedly lasted two hours. No casualties have been reported. Additional attacks on local officials and security forces are possible in the coming days.
Terrorism has become an increasingly serious security threat in Burkina Faso, especially in the northern Sahel region, since 2015. Educational institutions, officials and security forces are particularly targeted. Initially recurrent in the Sahel region, attacks tend to spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso, which is known for significant criminal activities. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Meanwhile, rates of criminal violence - much of which is interlinked with terrorist activity - have also recently increased.
Several Western governments advise against all travel to areas of the northern Sahel region in Burkina Faso, particularly areas within 40 km (25 mi) of the Malian border, as well as in the southeastern Tapoa province, near the Niger border. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to traveling to such areas. More generally, individuals across the country are advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners due to the latent risk of terrorist activity and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.