Dozens feared lacking day after lethal ambush close to Canadian-run mine in Burkina Faso

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OUAGADOUGOU (Information) – Dozens of individuals have been feared nonetheless lacking on Thursday after an ambush on employees close to a Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso killed no less than 37, the worst such assault for years in a rustic affected by jihadist violence.

Quebec-based gold miner Semafo (SMF.TO) stated 5 of its buses with a army escort got here beneath hearth on the street resulting in its Boungou mine within the japanese area of Est, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Boungou, on Wednesday.

Sixty different folks have been wounded, authorities stated.

The assailants’ id was unclear, however Burkina Faso is struggling to fight surging Islamist violence in distant japanese and northern scrubland areas of the West African state.

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“As soon as extra our individuals are in mourning due to terrorist teams which might be multiplying, murderous actions in opposition to our civilians and our defence and safety forces,” President Roch Marc Kabore stated in a televised deal with.

Semafo stated the Boungou mine website remained secured, though it has suspended operations following the assault.

Girls stand exterior Bogodogo hospital the place officers met with relations of victims of an ambush on employees close to a Canadian-owned mine, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso November 7, 2019. Information/Anne Mimault

It was unclear precisely how many individuals have been within the convoy, what their nationalities have been or what number of have been lacking. However two safety sources stated dozens should be unaccounted for.

One miner was shot within the leg however survived as a result of the our bodies of different victims fell on high of him, shielding him from the hail of bullets, his brother Benjamin Compaore stated.

“There have been an increasing number of photographs after which as a result of the others have been on high and he was beneath, God protected him,” he stated, talking exterior the Ouagadougou hospital the place the wounded have been being handled and distraught relations gathered.

Some questioned why the authorities had not but supplied a full casualty checklist.

Theodore Silga stated his youthful brother Gilbert, 26, had been on one of many ambushed buses. “The folks working with my brother stated they haven’t heard from him.”

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Semafo has stated that beneath new security pointers, Burkinabe workers journey to and from the mine with a army escort by street whereas worldwide workers are flown by helicopter.

Two separate sources, who’ve labored on the mine, stated the convoy left weekly carrying about 250 workers, normally in 5 buses of 50-60 folks every.

The corporate tightened safety final 12 months following assaults that killed three employees and 5 safety officers.

Canada’s overseas ministry stated there have been no experiences to date of any of its nationals being victims of the assault, the worst in Burkina Faso since teams with hyperlinks to Islamic State and al Qaeda started focusing on it in January 2016. Then, al Qaeda militants killed 32 folks in a raid on a well-liked cafe and resort in Ouagadougou.

Further reporting by Henry Wilkins; Writing by Edward McAllister and Alessandra Prentice; Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne/Mark Heinrich and Grant McCool