Canadian miner targeted in Burkina Faso attack; 38 killed

People wounded in an ambush on a Canadian-owned mine were taken to hospital for treatment

People wounded in an ambush on a Canadian-owned mine were taken to hospital for treatment Credit REUTERS Bado Vincent

The incident happened about 40 kilometres away from the Boungou site.

Semafo said the mine remains secured and operations were unaffected and it's working with authorities to ensure the safety of its employees and contractors.

Quebec-based gold mining company Semafo said five of its buses, with a military escort, came under fire on the road leading to a mine in the eastern part of the country.

The ambush underscores the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso, which observers say has increasingly become a refuge for jihadis from neighboring Mali and Niger.

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No one claimed responsibility for the assault, but Islamist insurgents and militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have carried out several attacks on security forces and civilians in West Africa in the past five years, killing nearly 700 people.

At least 38 people are dead, according to the Burkinabè president, with dozens wounded in Wednesday's attack.

Geodrill Limited ("Geodrill" or the "Company") (GEO.TO), regrets to report two of its employees have been fatally wounded in a terrorist attack between Fada and Boungou in Est Region, Burkina Faso.

The company said those numbers were yet to be officially confirmed.

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The country, which experienced its first major extremist attack in 2015, is a gateway south into coastal West Africa, and regional leaders worry the extremists could be moving into Togo and Benin.

Semafo had tightened security past year following attacks that killed three workers and five security officials. For several years, Burkina Faso has been the scene of violent attacks attributed to jihadist fighters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's ambush but the high death toll and targeting of a foreign company's employees suggest that well-armed jihadists carried out the assault.

"Certainly, in Burkina Faso and that far eastern part where this bad incident occurred, there's been a depreciating security environment for a while".

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