Ivory Coast blames terrorists for border attacks targeting army

In this file photo taken on Jan 25, 2021, Ivorian soldiers carry coffins covered with the Ivorian national flag, during a tribute ceremony, at the army headquarters in Abidjan after 4 Ivorian peacekeepers part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were killed in an attack on their convoy on Jan 13, 2021 in Mali.
(SIA KAMBOU / AFP)

Ivorian authorities said three soldiers were killed and five wounded in attacks on two military targets near the country’s border with Burkina Faso amid an escalation of jihadist violence in the region.

Three assailants were also killed in the first attack on a military base in Kafolo overnight, according to a statement from Armed Forces Chief Lassina Doumbia Monday. The army blamed the attack on “about sixty heavily armed terrorists from Burkina Faso,” without giving details on their affiliation.

There’s also been a rise in attacks perpetrated by groups affiliated to the Islamic State

The authors of a second attack on a post in Kolobougou are unknown, Doumbia said.

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The incident comes less than a year after a similar strike in June, which also targeted Kafolo’s army base. That was the first suspected militant attack in Ivory Coast since a March 2016 raid on the beach resort of Grand-Bassam left 19 people dead.

The world’s top cocoa grower has been largely spared from violence that’s ravaged its northern neighbors in recent years. Insurgents have been moving further south since groups affiliated to al-Qaeda occupied urban centers in northern Mali in 2012, and the violence has spilled over to several other countries in the region. There’s also been a rise in attacks perpetrated by groups affiliated to the Islamic State.

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