Deadly IEDs target soldiers in northern Burkina Faso

Twin explosions in the Central-North region of the landlocked African country leave 15 soldiers dead and one wounded, army says.

At least 15 soldiers have been killed in northern Burkina Faso when a transport vehicle drove over a hidden explosive device. The first explosion killed several troops before a second explosion killed those who rushed to their aid.

The incident occurred on a rural road in the Bam province of the country's Central-North region, where soldiers and civilians are routinely targeted by insurgents, the army said on Tuesday. 

"While rescue and security operations were being organised, a second device was obviously activated remotely, causing numerous casualties," the army statement said.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack, but investigations are currently under way to determine the perpetrators, the statement said.

Groups linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh have been active in the region since at least 2015.

Recent attacks 

Militants based in neighbouring Mali began mounting cross-border raids on Burkina Faso and neighbouring Niger in 2015.

In Burkina Faso, violence blamed on militants affiliated with Al Qaeda and Daesh has killed thousands of people and forced 1.9 million more to flee their homes.

On Monday, a suspected militant attack killed six civilians and four security auxiliaries in the northern province of Yatenga, a security source said.

Another alleged militant operation took the lives of four soldiers and nine auxiliaries on Thursday in the Bourzanga district, the army said, also in the north of the country.

Burkina Faso's ruling junta took power in a January coup that ousted former president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, amid widespread anger over the government's failure to quell the insurgency.

Today more than 40 percent of the country remains outside the government's control, according to official figures.

Source: AFP