Violence increases in Burkina Faso as 18 die in attacks

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At least 18 people have been reportedly killed in two attacks in Burkina Faso, as violence rages in the Sahel nation.

The country faces a jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015, with thousands of civilians, troops and police killed, and more than two million people forced to flee their homes.

“On Saturday afternoon, armed men attacked Bani,” a town about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Dori in the Sahel region, one resident said. “We deplore 12 dead according to the first toll,” another witness said.

A security source confirmed the attack, but gave no death toll.

Also on Saturday, six soldiers were killed in the country’s east when an improvised explosive device detonated, according to two security sources.

“Members of the military detachment from Diapaga were on a patrol mission” when their vehicle “hit a mine on the Diapaga-Partiaga road,” one of the sources said.

Attacks blamed on suspected jihadists are on the rise in Burkina Faso.

A landlocked country in the heart of West Africa’s Sahel, Burkina Faso is one of the world’s most volatile and impoverished countries.

Around 40 percent of the country lies outside the government’s control.