NEWS: Burkina Faso
More than 30 dead in the attack on the town of Arbinda.

At least eight peo­ple col­lect­ing water in a town in north­ern Burk­i­na Faso have been killed by armed fight­ers, the may­or said.

The inci­dent, which hap­pened on Mon­day morn­ing, brings the total death toll in three days of vio­lence in the trou­bled area to more than 30.

Mon­day’s attack took place in Arbin­da, in the province of Soum, which has suf­fered sev­er­al dead­ly raids by armed groups linked to al-Qae­da and ISIL (ISIL) who have sought for years to take the con­trol of a strip of arid ter­rain where Burk­i­na Faso, Mali and Niger meet.

May­or Boureima Werem told Reuters the gun­men have been tar­get­ing water tow­ers and pumps in recent weeks, in an appar­ent new tactic.

In the sep­a­rate inci­dents in north­ern Burk­i­na Faso, at least 15 peo­ple, includ­ing 13 mil­i­tary police offi­cers, were killed in Namenten­ga province on Sun­day, mil­i­tary police said, and on Sat­ur­day nine peo­ple were killed in an assault on an infor­mal gold mine in the province of Oudalan, said a secu­ri­ty source.

A cam­paign of vio­lence has already killed thou­sands and forced more than 2 mil­lion to flee their homes in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert.

The killings have per­sist­ed despite the pres­ence of thou­sands of for­eign troops, under­min­ing trust in the region’s elect­ed governments.

Frus­tra­tion over the gov­ern­men­t’s lack of con­trol led to protests in Burk­i­na Faso that cul­mi­nat­ed in a mil­i­tary coup in Jan­u­ary. In Mali, sol­diers took pow­er in August 2020.

The unrest in the Sahel began when fight­ers took con­trol of Mal­i’s desert north in 2012, prompt­ing France to inter­vene the fol­low­ing year to try to push them back. But the fight­ers have regrouped in recent years and seized the territory.

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