Lauren C. Moye, FISM News
Islamic extremists have claimed responsibility for killing over 70 soldiers after an attack on a military convoy in northern Burkina Faso.
The Islamic State group has had a foothold of power in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, a West African nation, for the past five years. These Islamic extremists have been responsible for violent acts, while jihadists have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Burkina Faso and Mali deaths while displacing over 2.7 million.
On Friday, the group’s news agency Amaq said that their armed insurgents ambushed a Burkina Faso military convoy in the northern part of the country. Over 70 soldiers were killed while dozens of others were wounded in the conflict. Jihadists took five others hostage.
The article said “[Islamic State] seized weapons and chased retreating soldiers for miles into the desert” and was accompanied by images of the slain soldiers and seized assault weapons, according to the Associated Press (AP News.)
The attack is one of several high-profile attacks in recent months.
“There’s a persistent stream of militant attacks north of the country, and the public is undoubtedly taking notice of their government’s inability to provide security. Any further attacks this colossal could threaten a public scene and even threaten to unseat the junta,” Laith Alkhouri, CEO of Intelonyx Intelligence Advisory, said to AP News.
A few days ago, the extremists attacked a military outpost in Tin-Akoff where dozens of soldiers and civilians were reportedly killed, although the government has not issued an official report on the attack.
On Feb. 18, jihadists attacked Deuou in a separate ambush. Burkina Faso authorities stated that 51 soldiers died in this attack.
The most recent attack was on a convoy attempting to advance into the Islamic State group’s control in the areas near Deuou.
Locals have credited the attacks to revenge killings. Burkina Faso soldiers are known for releasing photos or videos of captured Islamic extremists being tortured.
This is the most fatal attack of soldiers since Captain Ibrahim Traore was declared the interim president of Burkina Faso in October after leading a successful military coup. The coup was the second one in the nation in 2022.
The continued presence and unchecked violence of Islamic extremists contributed to both coups as civilians grew frustrated with the failed efforts of the government to guarantee their safety. Civilians suffer the greatest losses from the destabilizing presence of the Islamic State in the nation.
The Islamic State group’s activities have made Burkina Faso a center for starvation in West Africa. The jihadists make it difficult for civilians to gather and retain food resources while blockades make it impossible for humanitarian aid to be delivered to those in need.
The group was also responsible for the kidnapping of 60 women and children in January.