OUAGADOUGOU, 8 March 2021 – A soldier and five civilians have been killed in an ambush by jihadist militants in northern Soum province of Burkina Faso.
The five civilians killed were part of a vigilante working in collaboration with security forces and known as Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP).
“The Kourao VDP were patrolling the area and were targeted by armed individuals. A unit went to their aid and came under heavy fire,” according to a VDP source, cited Sunday by the French News Agency (AFP).
Formed more than a year ago, VDP volunteers complement other vigilante groups working with Burkinabe security forces fighting jihadist militants across the Sahel part of the west African nation.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in the armed violence the country has been caught up in since 2015.
The insurgency first started in neighboring Mali in 2012 before spreading across the border. The fighting has claimed more than 1,200 lives in Mali, according to official figures.
On Monday, officials in the capital, Ouagadougou, said the insurgents suffered casualties, but provided no further details.