At least one person was killed and four others were wounded in two attacks which took place in Kossi and Gourma provinces on Tuesday, August 11, and Wednesday, August 12. On Tuesday, a group of unidentified armed men attacked a base for Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP) in the Barani commune (Kossi province). According to media sources, the attackers began sporadically shooting in the area and killed at least one person believed to be a local resident. Additionally, a military vehicle traveling in Namoungou (Gourma province, Est region) struck an improvised explosive device (IED) on Wednesday which resulted in at least four soldiers wounded.
Separately, an imam was reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday by a group of armed individuals between Namssiguia (Bam province) and Gaskindé (Soum province) on the Kongoussi-Djibo axis. Reports indicate that Souaibou Cisse was traveling back to Djibo (Soum province) from Ouagadougou on a bus which was intercepted by the armed group. The assailants reportedly began searching passengers and checking their identities, before kidnapping Cisse and allowing the remainder to continue their journeys.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Further attacks on security personnel across the country are possible.
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. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Those in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation and associated emergency measures (e.g. curfews, state of emergency orders) and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
Due to 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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