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Twin Blasts Kill 15 Burkina Faso Troops, Army Says

The road between Bourzanga and Djibo in the Center-North region of Burkina Faso.
The road between Bourzanga and Djibo in the Center-North region of Burkina Faso.

Two explosions killed 15 soldiers in Burkina Faso on Tuesday, the army said, the latest in a series of such attacks as the country battles a jihadi insurgency.

The twin blasts using "improvised explosive devices occurred on the road from Bourzanga to Djibo" in the Center-North region, the army general staff said.

"The toll for both incidents is 15 fallen soldiers and one wounded," the statement said.

It was carried out during an escort mission, the statement said.

"One of the vehicles in the convoy, which was carrying troops, hit an explosive device near Namsiguia district in Bam province," it added.

While troops secured the area and tended to the victims, "a second device was remotely detonated, causing many casualties."

Jihadis based in neighboring Mali began mounting cross-border raids on Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger in 2015.

In Burkina Faso, violence blamed on jihadis affiliated to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group has killed thousands of people and prompted 1.9 million more to flee their homes.

On Monday, a suspected jihadi attack killed six civilians and four security auxiliaries in the northern province of Yatenga, a security source said.

Another alleged jihadi operation took the lives of four soldiers and nine auxiliaries on Thursday in the Bourzanga district, the army said, also in the country’s north.

Burkina Faso's ruling junta took power in a January coup that ousted former president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, amid widespread anger over the government's failure to quell the insurgency.

Today more than 40% of the country remains outside the government's control, according to official figures.