A gendarmerie patrol came under fire from suspected militants in Kyèkelnoda (Soum province) on Thursday, February 28. Security forces neutralized eight militants in response and seized materiel, including a motorcycle and items used to manufacture explosive devices, among other effects. Similar clashes between security forces and suspected militants are to be expected in northern Burkina Faso over the coming weeks.
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, 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 (e.g. information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc.). Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, remain vigilant at all times, and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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