Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU - Five members of the security forces were killed in roadside bomb attacks in eastern Burkina Faso at the weekend, officials said on Monday.

A policeman and a soldier were killed on Saturday when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kompienga, a security official said.

Late Sunday, three soldiers were killed in the same area by the same technique, another official said.

A third person who was in the vehicle was injured and taken to hospital, the official said.

The attacks bear the hallmarks of jihadist groups whose insurgency in the Sahel spilled over into Burkina Faso four years ago.

More than 300 people have been killed, typically in hit-and-run raids, and the capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times.

Attacks using IEDs began in August 2018 and have claimed more than 60 lives, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

The armed forces began an anti-terror operation, named Otapuana ("Lightning"), in the center and east of the country earlier this month.

It aims at "neutralizing terrorists and destroying hiding places in forests in the region," according to the authorities.

Since January 1, a state of emergency has been in force in 14 of the country's 45 provinces.