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60 inmates escape Burkina Faso prison after gunmen attack: Media

Attackers ransack offices and set prisons vehicles and motorbikes ablaze before fleeing

James Tasamba   | 09.05.2022
60 inmates escape Burkina Faso prison after gunmen attack: Media

KIGALI, Rwanda

Heavily armed unidentified militants launched an attack on a prison in northwest Burkina Faso overnight Saturday, and about 60 inmates managed to escape, local media reported Sunday.

The attack at the civilian prison in the town of Nouna, in the province of Kossi in the Boucle du Mouhoun region, left one person dead, while 60 prisoners escaped – its entire prisoner population, including a woman – the Burkina Information Agency (AIB) reported, citing local sources.

The attack began at around midnight (0000GMT) on Sunday, and the last shots were heard until 5 am local time (0500GMT), according to the media report.

The attackers reportedly ransacked offices and set prison vehicles and motorbikes ablaze before fleeing.

“They fired heavy weapons at the entrance to the town of Nouna before heading to Nouna prison, where they broke the doors and released the detainees,” a resident told local media.

Burkinabe defense and security forces and their auxiliaries intervened.

But in an exchange of gunfire a member of the auxiliary forces was shot and died of his wounds later Sunday in hospital, said the media report.

There has yet to be an official communication on the prison attack. But since May 1 Nouna has been plagued by numerous sporadic incursions by suspected terrorists, according to local media.

The landlocked West African country has been battling an insurgency that spread from neighboring Mali over the past decade.

Burkina Faso's army on Friday said that 11 soldiers, including auxiliaries and police officers, were killed in attacks over the past week, and more than 20 insurgents were killed in an offensive.

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