Ivorian military sources announced on Sunday, May 24, that at least eight suspected Islamist militants have been killed and dozens more arrested in recent days in a joint security operation with Burkinabe forces along the border between the two countries. The suspected militants were reportedly killed when security forces assaulted their camp in the Alidougou area on the Burkinabe side of the border, where equipment including vehicles, weapons, and communications devices was seized. However, Burkina Faso military sources had earlier stated that the operation occurred in Cote d'Ivoire.
The joint security operation was launched in the border region on May 11, with military patrols covering the area between the cities of Ferkessédougou in Cote d'Ivoire and Banfora in Burkina Faso. At least 24 suspected militants are reported to have been arrested in Burkina Faso during the operation and a further 14 on the Ivorian side of the border.
Further security operations are likely in area in the medium term.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are especially targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions; causing the death of more than 850 individuals and displacing nearly 840,000. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam, the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), as well as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation, obey local regulations (e.g. state-of-emergency orders), and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
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