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Burkina Unplugs TV Channel for 'Insurgency' Report

FILE: Burkina Faso's military leader, Ibrahim Traore, is escorted by soldiers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on Oct. 2, 2022.

OUAGADOUGOU — Burkina Faso's military government has suspended a French television news channel for a report on a jihadist insurgency which it said lacked objectivity and credibility, the latest escalation in a crackdown on foreign media.

French television channel La Chaine Info (LCI), of private broadcaster TF1, was suspended for three months from June 23 over a report aired at the end of April, according to a statement by the national media regulator published on Thursday.

The media regulator said the report overplayed the scale of the insurgency and "seditiously" exposed "unverified" failures in Burkina Faso's military response to the crisis.

A TF1 spokesperson declined to comment.

The ruling junta has already suspended French-funded broadcasters Radio France Internationale and France24 for allegedly giving voice to Islamist militants staging an insurgency across the Sahel region south of the Sahara.

In April, two French journalists working for newspapers Le Monde and Liberation were expelled from the country.

Relations between Burkina Faso and its former colonizer France have soured since frustrations over worsening insecurity spurred two military takeovers last year.