A hundred jihadists have been arrested and seven soldiers have been killed since the launch of an “anti-terrorist” operation a month ago in eastern Burkina Faso, the Burkinabe army said on Friday.
The army launched Operation “Otapuanu”, “rain of fire” or “lightning” on March 7, in the language spoken in the Eastern Region.
“Seven comrades-in-arms fell during this operation and nine others were wounded,” General Moïse Miningou, Chief of Staff of the Burkinabe Armed Forces, told the press in a statement to the command post. operation in Fada N’Gourma, chief town of the Eastern Region.
A “hundred terrorists” have been arrested and detained in the high security prison, added General Miningou.
He also said that jihadists were “neutralized” (killed), but refused to give the number.
“We are fighting against our brothers. They are Burkinabe, “said General Miningou.
Operation Otapuanu “restored the authority of the state in that part of the country where people were daily under threat and (victims of) atrocities of armed terrorist groups and criminal groups of all kinds”, and “to give great hope to people in the east and east,” said the general.
“More than a hundred schools, out of the 200 that were closed, have reopened,” said General Miningou.
The operation was conducted with the help of the armies of neighboring countries and the French army.
“We asked the neighboring armies (Benin, Niger and Togo) who responded favorably, so that there is no longer this facility to cross from one border to another” for the jihadists, he said , also welcoming the “valuable assistance of the French force Barkhane which facilitated the evacuation of our wounded”.
Burkina Faso has been confronted for the last four years by increasingly frequent and lethal attacks attributed to jihadist groups, including Ansarul Islam, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims ( GSIM ) and Islamic State at large. Sahara ( EIGS ).
Initially concentrated in the north of the country, which then targeted the capital and other regions, including the East, these attacks have made since 2015 some 350 deaths, according to an AFP count .
Burkinabè security forces have so far failed to stem the spiral of violence, despite the announcement of many operations.