The Ministry of Security has released a communiqué announcing that security forces will stage a military operation training simulation within the Palais des Sports located in the Ouaga 2000 district of the capital Ouagadougou on Thursday, November 15. The ministry warned that explosions and shots would be heard during the exercise and asked the population to remain calm and collaborate with security forces.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso (Est region) which is also known for high crime rates. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). According to an official account released in mid-September, jihadist attacks had killed at least 118 people since 2015, and at least 22 attacks had been recorded in the Est region since February 2018.
Due to the severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including 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, 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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