Unidentified armed men attacked a police outpost in Barani (Kossi province) in western Burkina Faso, killing at least one gendarme and wounding three others at approximately 21:00 (local time) on Wednesday, October 17. In a separate incident on Wednesday, unidentified armed men attacked a gendarmerie station in Banfora (Comoé province); no casualties were 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. 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 increased.
Due to the serious 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 the western city of Bobo-Dioulasso and border regions of Tapoa province is also advised against due to unstable security conditions along the borders.
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