Dozens dead near Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

Dozens dead near Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso

Dozens of people were still missing on Thursday after an ambush on workers near a Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso killed at least 37, the worst such attack for years in a nation plagued by jihadist violence.

Lisa Bernhard has more.


Dozens dead near Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso

At least 37 people are dead and 60 wounded after workers at a Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso were ambushed by gunmen - the worst such attack in years in a country plagued by jihadist violence.

Quebec-based gold mining company Semafo said five of its buses, with a military escort, came under fire on the road leading to a mine in the eastern part of the country.

Friends and relatives waited outside a local hospital for news of their loved ones - including a pastor whose brother is among those wounded.

(SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) BENJAMIN COMPAORE, PASTOR, BROTHER OF WOUNDED MINER JEAN COMPAORE, SAYING: "He told me that the bullet hit his leg and he fell to the floor.

Then others came above him and there were more and more shots.

Because the others were on top and he was underneath, God protected him.

He got two bullets in the legs and in his toes as well." The assailants' identity is unclear, but parts of Burkina Faso are struggling to combat surging Islamist violence, with several people displaced from there homes.

The country's president lamented the attack in a televised address.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) PRESIDENT OF BURKINA FASO, ROCH KABORE, SAYING: "Once again, our people are in mourning because of terrorist groups that are multiplying and carrying out murderous actions against our civilians, our defense force and security forces." Semafo tightened security at its mine last year following attacks that killed three workers and five security officials.

Last year, African forces took part in a U.S.-led counter-terrorism training program in Burkina Faso as part of an annual military exercise for West African nations.

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