Six Anti-Jihadist Campaigners Die In Ambush

Six civilian members of an auxiliary force in Burkina Faso’s anti-jihadist campaign were killed in an ambush late Thursday in the north of the country, local and security sources told AFP.

“Six were killed and another was wounded” in the attack at Dablo, an official with the Volunteers for the Defence of the Motherland (VDP) said Friday.

The group was ambushed as it was looking for a colleague who had gone missing in the village of Dou, the official said.

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The death toll was confirmed by a security official, who said the security forces had launched operations to track down the assailants.

Burkina Faso, a poor, landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, has been fighting a ruthless jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

More than 1,200 people have been killed and more than a million have fled their homes.

The VDP was set up in December 2019 to shoulder some basic security tasks from Burkina’s beleaguered police and army.

Civilian volunteers are given two weeks’ military training, and then work alongside the security forces, typically carrying out surveillance, information-gathering or escort duties.

But the fledgling force has suffered heavy losses.

The latest fatalities bring its death toll to 15 since the start of the year, according to an AFP toll.

Credit: AFP


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