At least 16 people -12 soldiers and four civilians- died and 21 soldiers were wounded in an attack against a military detachment in the Center-North region, the Army reported in a statement.
“This Friday, April 8, 2022, a complex attack targeted the Namissiguima military detachment (Sanmatenga province, Center-North region) at around 5:00 a.m.,” said the Directorate of Communication and Public Relations of the Burkina Faso Armed Forces.
“The provisional balance at the end of the fighting reveals that 12 soldiers and four volunteers for the defense of the homeland (VDP) (civilians who participate in the fight against jihadist groups in collaboration with the Armed Forces) died and 21 soldiers were injured” , he added. The VDP, poorly trained and poorly armed civilian auxiliaries to the army, are paying a heavy price in the anti-jihadist struggle in Burkina Faso.
The statement indicated that material damage was also recorded and reinforcements have been deployed to secure the area. Burkina Faso has suffered repeated jihadist attacks since April 2015, carried out by groups linked to both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. On the night of last Monday to Tuesday, unidentified armed men kidnapped an American nun who had lived since 2014 in the Yalgo parish, a town also located in the province of Sanmatenga.
A local source told AFP that “a large number of armed men, probably terrorist members of the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM, or Jnim in Arabic),” attacked the detachment. That source mentioned “an attack in retaliation for a military operation that killed several dozen terrorists” in an area near Barsalogho last week. “Several combatants were also captured by the army during these operations, which may explain this offensive against the detachment, to try to free them,” according to this former local politician.