A dozen civilian auxiliaries and four soldiers were killed Wednesday in an attack near Kaya, in northern Burkina Faso, where the president of the transition, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, is visiting, security and local sources told AFP on Thursday.

"Early Wednesday morning, terrorist groups attacked a mixed unit of soldiers and volunteers for the defense of the homeland (VDP, civilian auxiliaries) in Zorkoum," a locality located about ten kilometers from Kaya (north), told AFP a security source. "We deplore on the friendly side four soldiers and a dozen volunteers fallen. On the enemy side, about twenty terrorists have been neutralized," the source said.

Confirming the attack, another security source spoke of "several losses among the defense elements", without however evoking a precise toll.

The unit targeted in Zorkoum was responsible for securing repair work on water supply facilities in the town of Kaya, which were regularly sabotaged by gunmen, a local official told AFP, also confirming the attack.

Visit of the President of the Transition

Arriving Wednesday morning in the city of Kaya for a period of 48 hours, the president of the transition, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, went to the scene of the attack "a few hours later", to "salute the bravery of the elements who managed to repel the attack by inflicting huge losses", said a senior security source.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power in a coup nearly six months ago, had expressed in February his "intact determination" to fight terrorists, despite the multiplication of attacks.

Eleven civilians, including five army auxiliaries, were killed on Sunday and Monday in several attacks by suspected terrorists in the center-east and east of the country, according to local and security sources.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been caught in a spiral of violence perpetrated by terrorist groups linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, which have left a total of 10,000 dead - civilians and soldiers - according to NGOs, and some two million displaced.

With AFP

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