Overnight, militants attacked a prison in northwest Burkina Faso, ransacked offices and set fire to cars before releasing approximately 60 convicts, according to two security officials and a judicial source.
Approximately at midnight, armed men on 4x4s and motorcycles armed with Kalashnikovs and heavy machine guns approached the town of Nouna, according to security sources.
The militants liberated the entire population of the city’s jail, approximately sixty guys.
Over the past decade, Burkina Faso has been fighting a jihadist insurgency that has expanded from neighbouring Mali, where violent attacks occur routinely. Thousands have been slain and millions have been forced to evacuate their homes around the region.
According to security sources, no one was killed during the weekend prison raid, although a volunteer militia fighter was shot. A number of the prison’s trucks and motorcycles were set on fire, as well as its offices.
No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet.
According to two local officials, the raid occurred just hours after unidentified militants killed at least eleven people between the northern towns of Dori and Gorgadji. There were nine militiamen and two civilians among the fatalities.
On Friday, the army of Burkina Faso reported that 11 additional soldiers, militiamen, and police officers were murdered in separate attacks during the past week, but that more than 20 militants were slain in retribution.
The incapacity of the government to safeguard its citizens sparked protests in Burkina Faso that resulted in a military coup in January, the fourth military coup in West Africa in the past 18 months after two in Mali and one in Guinea.