Four French soldiers were injured in Burkina Faso’s bomb blast, the army said

Four French soldiers were injured in an improvised explosive device in northern Burkina Faso, the French military told AFP on Tuesday night.

“(Their) off-road vehicle activated an IED as it left Ouahigouya airport,” the army said in a statement, adding that the unit was part of Operation Barkhane, a Paris deployment in the Sahel against a jihadist insurgency.

Four soldiers were injured, including one seriously, the army said, and the group was evacuated to either Mali or France for those in a more serious condition.

Burkina Faso has been battling jihadist attacks since 2015, when militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State began carrying out cross-border raids from Mali.

More than 2,000 people have died, according to an AFP customs report.

The “tri-border” hotspot is often targeted by the Islamic State in Greater Sahara and the Al-Qaeda-linked group for support for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) with deadly attacks on civilians and soldiers.

The French army has killed several senior members of the ISGS since the start of its military intervention in Mali in 2013.

But in June last year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a major reduction in the Barkhane mission to refocus on counter-terrorism operations and support local forces.

(AFP)

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