Togo’s army has repelled another attack in the northwest near the border with Burkina Faso, a military official said on Thursday, a month after eight troops were killed in the region.
Jihadist groups in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are expanding and threatening a violent spillover into West African coastal states such as Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin and Togo.
Gunmen clashed with Togo troops outside a military post in Goulingoushi area in Togo’s far northwest between Wednesday and Thursday, before they were forced across the border, a the military official said.
“It was one of our ambushes that surprised them outside the Goulingoushi post, in the far northwest,” he said.
There were no deaths or wounded on the “Togo side”, the official said.
The assailants “have retreated and the Burkinabe army is on their heels. The sweeps continue on our side”, he said.
On Monday, Togolese authorities declared a security “state of emergency” in the Savannah region in the far north to help better coordinate their military response.
In early May, eight Togolese soldiers were killed and 13 others injured in the first official deadly terrorist attack in Togo. About fifteen assailants were killed by the Togolese soldiers.
The Mali-based Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) group claimed responsibility for that attack.
Armed incursions by jihadists linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) organisation from troubled Sahel nations have strengthened fears of a southward push towards the Gulf of Guinea.