Gunmen kill 37 in ambush on mining firm convoy

Burkina Faso's government said that the gunmen had conducted a'complex attack

At least 60 other people were wounded in the ambush, according to regional governor Col. Saidou Sanou.

Montreal-based Semafo said the violence took place about 25 miles from its Boungou Mine in Burkina Faso's Eastern region while five buses of employees were being accompanied by a military escort.

A military escort vehicle was reportedly struck by an explosive device before gunmen opened fire. But two security sources said dozens may still be unaccounted for.

Burkina Faso authorities have confirmed there have been 37 fatalities and 60 injuries as a result of the attack near Semafo and Perenti's Bongou mine earlier this week.

Although the mining company issued a statement in which they stated that both the Boungou mine sites operated by them were secure and the mining operations had not been affected.

Two separate attacks on convoys carrying Boungou mine employees in August and December a year ago killed 11 people.

The Burkina Faso government this year asked mining companies to make their own arrangements to transport their employees, according to sources close to the miners.


The assailants' identity was unclear, but Burkina Faso is struggling to combat surging Islamist violence in remote eastern and northern scrubland areas of the West African state.

The Canadian government also condemned the attack.

Nearly 500,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes.

The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso's neighbours Mali and Niger, has been afflicted by the violence despite the presence of the regional G5 Sahel force as well as French and USA troops.

Semafo has said that under new safety guidelines, Burkinabe employees travel to and from the mine with a military escort by road while global staff are flown by helicopter.

Reports indicate that hundreds of people have been killed so far this year and more than 150,000 have fled their homes due to attacks across the Sahel region.

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