Gunmen kill at least 13 gendarmes in Taparko, a northern mining town, says AFP, citing sources, while search continues for eight missing soldiers.

Burkina Faso has been struggling with attacks since 2015, when militants linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh group began mounting cross-border raids from Mali.
Burkina Faso has been struggling with attacks since 2015, when militants linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh group began mounting cross-border raids from Mali. (AFP Archive)

Gunmen have killed at least 13 gendarmes in an ambush at Taparko, a mining town in Burkina Faso, the latest in a series of attacks in the north of the country.

"A team from the gendarmerie at Dori fell into an ambush set by armed individuals this afternoon near Taparko," a security source told the AFP news agency on Sunday. As well as the 13 confirmed dead, a number of other gendarmes were missing, the source added.

Another security source said reinforcements had been called in and were searching the sector for eight missing gendarmes.

An additional eight gendarmes were wounded in the attack, two of them seriously, and they had been evacuated for treatment in Tougouri.

Taparko is a mining town regularly targeted by militants.

Reports of this latest attack came as two people were killed and several others injured when a bus hit a landmine on Sunday, also near Taparko.

And on Saturday, 11 people were killed in an attack on a gold mine at Baliata, also in the north. One witness told AFP some 30 attackers arrived on scooters.

Only days earlier, an attack on another gold mine in the region left 10 people dead.

Struggling history with militants

Burkina Faso has been struggling with attacks since 2015, when militants linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh group began mounting cross-border raids from Mali.

More than 2,000 people have died, according to an AFP toll.

The flashpoint "tri-border" area in the north is frequently targeted by Daesh in the Greater Sahara and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM) with deadly attacks against civilians and soldiers.

Attacks with homemade bombs have multiplied since 2018, costing the lives of around 300 people, civilians and military.

A junta seized power in Ouagadougou on January 24 and has made tackling the insurgency a priority. Ousted president Roch Marc Christian Kabore was unable to contain the insurgency.

Source: AFP