A military spokesman reported the deaths of 29 suspected militants on Sunday, February 24, in security operations conducted during the previous week in eastern Burkina Faso. The raids reportedly occurred in Kompienga province (Est region) on Tuesday, February 19, and Wednesday, February 20. Further military operations are expected in the east and north of the country; reprisal attacks on military, gendarme, and other government facilities are possible in the coming weeks and months.
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).
Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the nation's border regions on January 1.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in eastern Burkina Faso, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
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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