Five members of the Burkina Faso police, who were carrying out a reconnaissance mission, lost their lives last Saturday during an attack in the central-eastern part of Burkina Faso, the general staff announced yesterday Sunday, adding that forty “terrorists” were killed in the retaliation of the security forces.

After midday yesterday Saturday “the 7th formation of mobile intervention units of the police was involved in a battle with a group of terrorists near the community of Dugo-Giurga”, in the province of Culpelogo, near the border with Togo, according to the general staff.

“The incident, which occurred while the unit was on a reconnaissance mission, claimed the lives of five police officers. Another four, injured, were removed from there and they were offered care”, continues the press release of the staff.

In the retaliatory firefight, “at least forty terrorists” were “neutralized” (i.e. killed), while “material was seized”, the army assured, adding that “clearance operations are underway to make the zone safe”.

Kulpelogko province is in the Central-Eastern region, where a jihadist attack had already taken place this month.

On August 7, at least twenty people were killed in the community of Noao, near the town of Bitu, according to sources in the security forces and local authorities and residents of the area.

In mid-July, interim president Captain Ibrahim Traore, who took power in a coup in September 2022, denounced the increasingly frequent “attacks against civilians”, saying the jihadists were showing how “cowardly” they are.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has faced repeated attacks attributed to jihadist groups that pledge allegiance to either al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.

Since then, the conflict has claimed the lives of more than 16,000 civilians and soldiers, according to figures from the non-governmental organization ACLED, including 5,000 this year alone. It has also caused the displacement of more than two million citizens inside the country, according to the same source.