Burkinabe army admits killing civilians in counter-terrorism strike

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Soldiers from Burkina Faso patrol the road to Gorgadji in the Sahel region, Burkina Faso March 3, 2019. Picture taken March 3, 2019. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/File Photo/File Photo

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OUAGADOUGOU, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s army said on Wednesday it accidentally killed civilians during a counter-terrorism operation in the south-east of the country earlier this week.

The West African country is battling an insurgency by Islamist militant groups, some linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, which control large swaths of territory and carry out frequent attacks.

“During operations that enabled the neutralization of several dozen terrorists, the strikes unfortunately caused collateral victims among the civilian population,” the army said in a statement.

He did not specify how many civilians were killed. The victims were hit by projectiles in the area between Kompienga and Pognoa, near the border with Togo, on Monday, he said.

Togo, which is fighting a spillover of militancy from Burkina Faso, accidentally killed seven civilians in an airstrike last month near the same border. Read more

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Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga; Writing by Nellie Peyton Editing by Tomasz Janowski

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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