The army of Burkina Faso has reported the tragic loss of fifty-three of its security personnel during intense confrontations with Islamist militants. These unfortunate events transpired on a Monday when the security forces were actively defending against an assault by jihadist insurgents, as detailed in a statement released the following day.
This fierce combat unfolded within the northern Yatenga province, an area where the military has been striving to regain control of territory. Since 2015, extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have been carrying out frequent attacks within Burkina Faso, further exacerbating the security situation.
In response to Monday’s clash, the army reported the successful “neutralization” of several militants in a counter-operation. However, the toll on the military side included the tragic loss of 17 soldiers and 36 civilian volunteers.
It is important to note that Burkina Faso experienced two military coups last year, mirroring the situation in neighboring Mali and Niger. The primary motivation for these military takeovers was the escalating threat posed by jihadist elements. Regrettably, none of the three military regimes have thus far succeeded in quelling the violence.