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‘Separate blasts kill 7 security forces in Burkina Faso’

This image shows a Burkinabe soldier standing guard (R) on a security perimeter set up around the site where three suspected militants were killed and one was captured in a pre-dawn raid by security forces on a house in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on May 22, 2018. (By AFP)

Seven policemen have been killed in two separate explosions in the West African country of Burkina Faso, sources say.

AFP reported unnamed sources as telling the news agency that the two separate explosions had occurred late on Friday and late on Saturday.

Six police officers were killed in the Friday attack when the leading vehicle in a security convoy hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in the northern town of Solle, near the border with militant-infested Mali, the news agency said on Sunday.

The convoy then reportedly came under gunfire, which injured an unspecified number of other officers.

The Saturday blast, also caused by an IED, killed one security officer and injured another in the country’s eastern town of Pama.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but assaults have previously been carried out in Burkina Faso by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups in retaliation for the country’s participation in a regional fight against militants.

This file photo shows Burkinabe military forces taking part in the funeral ceremony of seven security forces killed three days earlier in a roadside bomb attack, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, August 31, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

France, a former colonizer of the region, has had a military presence in the region — including in Burkina Faso since 2010 — on a declared mission to help regional governments in the Sahel tackle extremism, particularly in Mali.

French warplanes killed around 10 militants in northern Burkina Faso following a deadly raid on a gendarmerie, the Burkinabe military command announced on Friday.

According to an official count published last month, French airstrikes had until then killed 118 people, 70 of whom were civilians.

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