The Guardian
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Two dead in Burkina Faso ‘jihadist’ attack


A school director and a villager in a Burkina Faso province on the border with Mali were killed Friday in a suspected attack by jihadists, security and local officials said.

They were gunned down by two armed men who “then returned to Mali on a motorcycle”, said Mohammed Dah, high commissioner for Soum province.

A security source told AFP the perpetrators “without doubt were jihadists” who have been rampant since 2015 in the Sahel region that borders Mali and Niger.

The killings took place four days after attacks on public buildings in Soum by the Ansarul Islam jihadist group. One woman was wounded.

Ansarul Islam claimed an attack in December on an army squad near the Malian border in which 12 soldiers were killed, the deadliest-ever assault on the military.

Teachers have previously been threatened by jihadists in Soum. At the end of January, armed men burst into two schools near the town of Djibo and demanded staff stop teaching French and use Arabic instead.

Ansarul Islam is led by Burkinabe Malam Ibrahim Dicko, a radical preacher who wants to create an Islamist “kingdom” in the region, experts say.

Long spared the Islamist violence affecting several nations in the region, notably Mali and Niger, Burkina Faso has been hit by attacks and kidnappings since April 2015.

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