Dozens of miners die in ambush

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 8 Nov 2019

The ambush of a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in Burkina Faso left 37 people dead - the deadliest attack in nearly five years of jihadist violence in the West African country.

The impoverished and politically fragile country has been struggling to quell a jihadist-led revolt that has claimed hundreds of lives since early 2015.

Then, on Wednesday morning, "unidentified armed individuals" ambushed five buses carrying local employees, contractors and suppliers of the Semafo mining company, said regional governor Saidou Sanou.

And besides the 37 killed, he added, 60 people were wounded.

A security source linked to Semafo said the buses being escorted by the military were 40 kilometers from the Boungou gold mine in Tapoa province when they were ambushed.

"A military vehicle hit an explosive device," the source said. "Then two buses carrying workers were fired on."

It was the third deadly attack on Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, within 15 months.

Two attacks on convoys carrying Boungou mine employees in August and December last year left 11 people dead.

The company blamed "bandits" for those attacks.

Burkina Faso's northern provinces have faced a wave of jihadist violence coming from neighboring Mali.

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