The attack took place early in the morning at the nation's Namissiguima military base in the province of Sanmatenga.

The attack took place early in the morning at the nation's Namissiguima military base in the province of Sanmatenga.
The attack took place early in the morning at the nation's Namissiguima military base in the province of Sanmatenga. (AFP Archive)

At least 12 troops and four army auxiliaries were killed in an attack by suspected militants on a military detachment in Burkina Faso, the army has said.

"This Friday, April 8, 2022, a complex attack targeted the Namissiguima military detachment at around 5:00 am (0500 GMT)," the army said in a statement on Friday.

"The provisional toll after the fighting is 12 soldiers and four VDP (Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland) dead," it said, adding that 21 soldiers were wounded.

The VDP, poorly trained and armed civilian auxiliaries in the army, have paid a heavy price in the fight against militants in Burkina Faso.

A security source confirmed the attack and a "heavy toll on the friendly side", without giving figures.

READ MORE: 'Armed men' target Burkina Faso gold mine in deadly attack

Fighting insurgency

The West African nation is battling an insurgency that has spread from neighbouring Mali over the past decade, with groups linked to al Qaeda and Daesh staging deadly raids and gaining ground in both Burkina Faso and the countries' other neighbour Niger.

Their campaign has claimed some 2,000 lives and displaced some 1.8 million people.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has been ruled by a military junta since January.

Mutinous colonels seized power as anger mounted over the failure of the country's elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, to roll back the insurgency.

Kabore's successor, Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, has declared security to be a priority.

But a surge of attacks in recent weeks has claimed dozens of lives, both civilian and military.

READ MORE: Soldiers targeted in Burkina Faso militant attack

Source: TRTWorld and agencies