At least six people died in an ambush in northern Burkina Faso on Saturday, October 6. According to preliminary reports, militants attacked a police convoy using an improvised explosive device (IED) followed by gunfire near the town of Sollé (Loroum province), near the Malian border. At least six police officers were killed. The attack follows a similar attack on a convoy on Thursday, October 4, and a French airstrike the following day. Further such attacks in the north of Burkina Faso are likely in the near future.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso, especially in the northern Sahel region, since 2015. Educational institutions, officials, and security forces are particularly targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso which is also 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).
Due to the severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. A number of Western governments advise against all travel to areas within 50 km (30 mi) of the Malian border above the Dori-Niangoloko line. Nonessential travel to areas north of the line running from Niangoloko (west) to Pama (east) is also advised against due to unstable security conditions.
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