NEWS: Burkina Faso
French air strikes kill 40 fighters in Burkina Faso.

French forces have killed dozens of fight­ers in Burk­i­na Faso linked to dead­ly attacks this week in neigh­bor­ing Benin whose vic­tims includ­ed a French­man, the mil­i­tary said.

The French-led Barkhane force in the Sahel region “engaged its air intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties to locate the armed group” respon­si­ble for the attacks, before car­ry­ing out air strikes that killed 40 fight­ers, the army’s gen­er­al com­mand said Saturday.

The French­man was among nine peo­ple killed this week in two attacks on for­est rangers in the W Nation­al Park, a wildlife reserve in Ben­in’s remote north on the trou­bled bor­der with Niger and Burk­i­na Faso.

Two road­side bombs killed five park rangers, a park offi­cial, a sol­dier and a French train­er on Tues­day, accord­ing to a Beni­nese gov­ern­ment report.

Two days lat­er, anoth­er park offi­cial was killed in an explosion.

France announced Thurs­day that it had opened an inves­ti­ga­tion because a 50-year-old cit­i­zen was among those killed in a “ter­ror­ist attack” in the park.

African Parks, the orga­ni­za­tion that man­ages the reserve, said the French­man had been a “chief instruc­tor of law enforce­ment” there.

Benin has long been one of the most sta­ble coun­tries in West Africa, where fight­ers from al-Qae­da and EIIL threat­en the Sahel coun­tries, but it has seen sev­er­al recent attacks.

Crim­i­nal smug­gling gangs also oper­ate along its border.

In Jan­u­ary, two Beni­nese sol­diers were killed when their vehi­cle struck an IED in the north­ern Atako­ra region.

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