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Burkina Faso Bloodied Again By Insurgents

Men work in a granite mine in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Monday April 25, 2022. The influx of people displaced by the country's rapidly rising Islamic violence is causing competition among the approximately 3,000 people working at the mine.

Suspected jihadists have killed around 50 civilians in Burkina Faso, the Eastern region's governor said Thursday, in the latest attack in the impoverished Sahel nation. The victims were killed Wednesday as they tried to flee a blockade by jihadist insurgents. Authorities say the toll is an estimate.

Survivors told AFP by telephone they had been trying to get away from the attackers as food ran out.

"The people were intercepted and executed by the terrorists," one survivor said. "All the dead were men."

The governor of the region said: "Security operations are underway to restore peace".

One of the world's poorest countries, Burkina Faso has been shaken by jihadist raids since 2015, with the movements linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and 1.8 million displaced.

On May 22, suspected jihadists killed 11 people in two villages in the nation's northern region.

And on May 19, 11 soldiers and 15 gunmen died in another attack, in the east, the army said.

The nation's government was overthrown by the miitary in January, 2022, removing President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba took charge, making the security crisis his priority.

But after a relative lull in violence, a surge in attacks has claimed well over 200 lives among civilians and security forces.