Two soldiers were killed Monday in an attack on a military detachment in northern Burkina Faso, with 15 suspected jihadists “neutralised” in a counter-offensive, the West African nation’s military said.
Troops in the northern Soum province “repelled a terrorist attack that targeted their base with shell fire on Monday morning, ” the army said in a statement.
“Two soldiers were killed and nine wounded in the fighting,” the statement continued.
A “vigorous response” with air support “resulted in a heavy defeat for the enemy: at least 15 terrorists were neutralised,” the military said.
A large quantity of heavy and light weaponry along with ammunition was seized from the attackers, together with several vehicles.
Armed forces chief, Colonel David Kabore, encouraged the army to “continue in this dynamic which is increasingly challenging the armed terrorist groups”.
Kabore praised “the bravery of the entire detachment” and reaffirmed “the commitment of the national armed forces to defend the integrity of the territory”.
Armed Islamists based in neighbouring Mali began mounting cross-border raids on Burkina Faso, and neighbouring Niger, in 2015.
In Burkina, one of the poorest countries of the world, thousands of civilians, troops and police have been killed and an estimated 1.9 million people have fled their homes.
More than 40 percent of the country is out of the government’s control, according to official figures.