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US Designates Ansarul Islam as Terrorist Organization

FILE- A soldier stands guard outside the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Jan. 18, 2016.

The U.S. State Department says it is designating the group Ansarul Islam as a global terrorist group because of its history of launching attacks in Burkina Faso near the border with Mali.

Ansarul Islam's attacks include a December 2016 attack on members of Burkina Faso's military that killed 12 soldiers, one of the deadliest attacks ever against Burkina Faso troops.

The group is also believed responsible for a February 2017 strike on two police stations and the March 2017 murder of two men, one a school director, in the Burkina Faso village of Kourfayel.

The State Department designation is meant to block all foreign assets the group has under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits any U.S. citizen from engaging in business with the group.

The State Department says the designation will deny the group U.S. resources and may assist law enforcement activity by the U.S. government.