Four gendarmes were killed in an attack on a base in Barani (Kossi province) by an unidentified gunmen around 05:00 (local time) on Thursday, March 28. Sources reported significant material damage, including a burnt vehicle, and that security forces had subsequently launched a search and sweep operation. Further security operations are likely over the coming days amid heightened tensions. Additional militant attacks are possible in Kossi province in the near term.
Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions, including in Kossi province, on January 1.
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).
Individuals in Burkina Faso, particularly those in Barani, are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in the north of the country, adhere to local regulations (e.g. state of emergency declarations), 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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