Suspected jihadists militants killed five members of Burkina Faso's security forces in two separate IED attacks in Kompienga (Est region) on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17. On Saturday, a military vehicle exploded when it hit an IED while conducting a search and sweep operation, resulting in the death of one gendarme and one soldier. On Sunday evening (local time), a military vehicle of the Groupement Central des Armées (GCA) hit a landmine, resulting in the deaths of three soldiers. Further such attacks are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Terrorism has become an increasing security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces have been specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region in the north of the country, activity has since spread to other regions. Attacks are most frequently attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, the government declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions, to be in effect for six months.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation and applicable regulations (e.g. state of emergency orders) and remain vigilant of criminal and militant activity. Due to severe risk of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to use discretion regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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