Unidentified assailants ambushed a police patrol near the village of Bougui (Est region) on Monday, December 3. The suspected jihadist militants opened fire on the convoy, injuring one policeman. However, police forces managed to repel the assailants, killing six of them. Several weapons and ammunitions were also seized.
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 have killed at least 118 people since 2015; at least 22 attacks were recorded in the Est region since February 2018.
On November 22, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs (MAE) updated its Burkina Faso travel advisory. It now advises its citizens to strictly avoid areas in the east of the country along the border with Niger, the provinces of Yagha, Komondjari, Kompienga, and Tapoa (including the W National Park), the eastern part of Gourma province, and the southeast (along the border with Benin, including on the road between Fada Ngourma and Pama), due to the presence of terrorist groups.
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, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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