Gunmen attacked a town in Soum province (Sahel region) in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday, June 9. Several people were killed in the assault on Arbinda with unconfirmed reports of up to 17 deaths. The identity or motive for the incident are not known. Other incidents were also reported in nearby areas, including the murder of a driver and burning of several vehicles. Further such violence is likely in the Sahel region in the coming weeks and months.
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).
On January 11, Burkina Faso's parliament extended a state of emergency effective in Est and Sahel regions, the western provinces of Kossi and Sourou, the central-eastern province of Koulpélogo, the western province of Kénédougou, and northern province of Lorum by six months.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in the north of the country and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity. Many Western governments advise against all travel to northern and eastern Burkina Faso.
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.
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