Twelve Ivorian Soldiers Killed in Terrorist Attack

  • According to the authorities, the attackers were from Burkina Faso.
  • Islamist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have been expanding their influence in West Africa in recent years.
  • The attack comes merely a day after at least 69 people in a Nigerian village were killed by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

At least twelve Ivorian soldiers were killed and seven others were left nursing injuries following an attack on a checkpoint along the country’s northern border with Burkina Faso on Thursday. Two military gendarmes are missing, while one of the attackers was killed by the armed forces. 

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region, which commenced 1 August 2014. The operation is “to become the French pillar of counterterrorism in the Sahel region.”

According to the authorities, the attackers were from Burkina Faso. However, their identities haven’t been established yet, and it is also not yet clear who is behind the organization of the attack. On May 11, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso launched a joint military operation to address the expansion of the jihadist threat in the Sahel region. 

Islamist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have been expanding their influence in West Africa in recent years, causing deadly attacks on a regular basis. One of the major joint operations within the mission took place between May 23-24. The offensive took place north-east of the Ivorian city of Ferkessedougou and south of the burkinabè city of Banfora. 

At least eight terrorist suspects were killed and around 38 captured, including 24 in Burkina Faso, and 14 in Ivory Coast. A “terrorist base” was destroyed in Alidougou, Burkina Faso, and the military seized a large number of weapons, ammunition, and cell phones during the operation. Most of the fighting took place around the villages of Tinadalla and Diambeh, in northeastern Ivory Coast. 

Sahel terrorist groups have strengthened and expanded their range of operations, leaving coastal countries, such as Ivory Coast, with the risk that jihadist violence will spill over their territories. In the past year, jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso , Mali and Niger have intensified dramatically. 

The Islamic State in West Africa or Islamic State’s West Africa Province (abbreviated as ISWA or ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād “Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad”) and commonly known as Boko Haramuntil March 2015, is a jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.

As per the United Nations data, around 4,000 people were killed in attacks perpetrated in 2019 in the three countries. As for the Ivory Coast, however, the country has been largely spared the violence that has affected its neighbors over the years.

However, on March 13, 2016, the nation suffered its first terrorist attack, when three al-Qaeda militants in the Islamic Magherb (AQIM) raided a resort in Grand-Bassam, in the southeast of the country, killing 19 people. 

Among the victims, in addition to ten Ivorian citizens, there were four French, two Lebanese, one Nigerian, one German and one Macedonian. According to investigations conducted by local authorities, the terrorists came from abroad.

Specifically, the mastermind of the attack was the Malian Kounta Dallah. Most of the 80 arrested in the weeks following the attack originated from Mali, while some from Mauritania. The Yamoussoukro government declared that the attack had been designed and carried out only by militants from outside the Ivory Coast, with  the aim of creating chaos.

The attack comes merely a day after at least 69 people in a Nigerian village were killed by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group. Tuesday’s attack was carried out at the Faduma Koloram village which is located in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State. Armed to the tooth, the attackers shot at villagers using AK riffles, razed the village, and stole 1,200 cattle and camels.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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