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Six killed in mining convoy attack in eastern Burkina Faso

Kitco News

OUAGADOUGOU, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Unidentified armed men killed six gendarmes and wounded seven others in an attack on a convoy of vehicles returning from a gold mine owned by Endeavor Mining in the east of the country, authorities said on Monday.

The convoy of empty fuel trucks the gendarmes were protecting was ambushed at around 13:30 GMT on Sunday on a stretch of road between Sakoani and Matiacoali, Burkina Faso's gendarmerie said in a statement.

Groups with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda operate in the region and frequently carry out similar attacks, but none have yet claimed responsibility.

"The ambush began with the detonation of an improvised explosive device as the convoy passed, followed by heavy gunfire," the gendarmerie said.

The tankers were travelling from Boungou mine, which is owned and operated by London and Toronto-listed Endeavour Mining. The miner did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

The attack comes after 39 people were killed in a strike on a convoy carrying employees from the same mine in November 2019, shutting it down for almost a year. Despite the presence of thousands of United Nations, regional and Western troops, Islamist violence in the borderlands of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions since 2018.

(Reporting by Thiam Ngiaga; additional reporting by Helen Reid, Jeff Lewis and Edward McAllister; Writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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