An IED blast struck a convoy carrying supplies in Burkina Faso’s jihadist-hit north on Monday, killing at least 35 civilians and injuring 37, according to the governor of the Sahel, Rodolphe Sorgo.
According to a statement issued by governor Sorgo, the incident occurred while the military-led convoy was supplying towns in the restive north on a road connecting Bourzanga and Djibo.
“One of the vehicles carrying civilians hit an improvised explosive device.
“The provisional toll is 35 dead and 37 injured, all civilians,” it said.
The victims are mainly traders who were going to buy supplies in Ouagadougou and students who were returning to the capital for the next school year, officials said.
According to a resident of Djibo, “several dozen vehicles, including trucks and public transport buses” were hit by the blast.
Jihadist groups have recently carried out similar attacks on major roads leading to the northern cities of Dori and Djibo.
In early August, 15 soldiers were killed in the same area by a double IED blast.
Much of the fighting has been concentrated in the north and east, with jihadists suspected of having ties to Al-Qaeda or the Daesh group leading the charge.
Burkina’s ruling junta, which seized power in January, has declared the fight against the insurgency a top priority, despite the fact that more than 40% of the country is outside government control.
The landlocked African country is gripped by a seven-year insurgency that has claimed over 2,000 lives and forced 1.9 million people to flee their homes.
Since last year, Burkina has become the epicenter of violence, with more deadly attacks than in neighboring Mali or Niger in 2021.