October 13, 2016 / 6:52 AM / 3 years ago

Gunmen kill 3 soldiers, two others, in north Burkina Faso: gov't

A soldier stands guard in front of burned cars across the street from Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, January 17, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Penney

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen killed three Burkinabe soldiers and two civilians on Wednesday, a military source said, in the latest sign that instability in Mali is spreading to its southern neighbour.

The defence ministry had earlier confirmed the deaths of the soldiers.

Attacks by Islamist militants in Burkina Faso were rare before a major strike by al Qaeda-linked fighters in the capital killed 29 people in January. The latest attack prompted President Roch Marc Kabore to delay a trip to Belgium and call an emergency ministerial meeting, government sources said.

The military source said three soldiers were also wounded. Earlier, the defence ministry had said two of the attackers were dead in the attack at Ingangom, five kilometres from the Malian border. The source said the military later realised the dead were civilians. The same base was attacked in June, resulting in the death of three police officers.

A newly-formed militant group called Islamic State division in the Greater Sahara, led by a fighter formerly loyal to Algeria’s Mokhtar Belmokhtar, also claimed to have attacked a Burkinabe military position in the far north last month.

Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by Emma Farge; editing by Ralph Boulton, Bernard Orr

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