Ouagadougou – An ambush on a convoy of vehicles from a gold mine killed seven civilians in Burkina Faso on Friday, a military source and residents said.
The Sahel state has been plagued by deadly jihadist attacks since 2015, often targeting gold mine workers.
“A terrorist attack caused the death of at least seven civilians this morning” in the eastern area of Nadiabonli, a military source said.
It targeted a convoy from the Boungou gold mine after it had ground to a halt due to technical issues, the source added.
Residents put the death toll slightly higher, saying eight people had lost their lives, all of them civilian drivers.
It was just the latest such attack.
In March, unidentified assailants killed 11 people when they attacked the gold mining site of Baliata in the north of the country.
Just two days earlier, another assault on an illegal gold mine in the northeast near the border with Niger took the lives of at least 10 miners.
In November 2019, an ambush on a convoy transporting workers to the Boungou mine killed 38 people, and caused Canadian mining company Semafo to close it for three months.
In April this year, Russian gold producer Nordgold said it was shutting down the Taparko mine in northern Burkina Faso over it being “under terrorist threat”.
The country’s new strongman Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba has pledged to make battling insecurity his priority since seizing power in a coup in January, but attacks against soldiers and civilians have persisted.
Sandaogo unseated elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore after widespread discontent over his alleged inability to stamp out the jihadist violence.
The seven-year-old insurgency by groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group has killed thousands of people and displaced almost two million more from their homes.