On the evening of October 3, the gendarmerie station of Inata, a mining town located in northern Burkina Faso, was attacked by armed men on pickups and motorcycles. “The final report mentions a death [among the gendarmes, ed] and significant material damage. […] According to our information, the number of attackers reached quarantine, “said a security source in Burkina Faso.
But the attackers apparently could not get very far. In fact, at the request of the Burkinabè military authorities, the Barkhane force launched two Mirage 2000Ds from Niamey Air Base [Niger] on short notice to try to neutralize them. A C-135FR refueling plane also took to the air.
At the same time, a 1/33 “Belfort” MQ-9 Reaper drone was redirected to the Inata sector. Thanks to the latter, several motorcycles was spotted there. “After observing the behavior of the group and removing the doubt about the terrorist nature of it, an air strike was carried out in the night by the two Mirage 2000,” said the Armed Forces Staff [EMA]. “The balance sheet of the action is being evaluated,” he added.
Jihadist activity is important in the Inata sector, where a gold mine is operating. On 23 September, three of her employees were abducted (including one Indian and one South African). And soon after, the gendarmes who had gone in search of them were ambushed in the vicinity of Tangomayel. Three of them died there. Three days later, still in the province of Soum, 8 Burkinabè soldiers were killed by the explosion of an artisanal mine at the passage of their vehicle.
Eastern Burkina Faso is also threatened by jihadists. Since February 2018, 22 attacks have been reported, including the one on October 4, a military convoy between the localities of Fada N’Gourma and Foutouri, precisely at the height of Gayéri. The balance is six soldiers killed.
There is no certainty about the identity of the jihadist groups responsible for these attacks. “The situation in North and East Burkina Faso remains fragile. For the moment, it is not possible to qualitatively characterize the dozens of improvised explosive device bombings that have occurred in this area for almost a year. These attacks have not been claimed, “explains the EMA.