36 killed in terrorist attack in Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso
33 other people were injured but are reportedly in a "stable condition" in Ouahigouya's university hospital.
In the insurgent-run region of Burkina Faso, 34 volunteers of the VDP (Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland) and 6 soldiers were killed “by unidentified armed men on Saturday ... at about 4:00 pm," near Aorema village, the Ouahigouya regional governorate said in a statement.
The statement added that 33 more were injured but are reportedly in a "stable condition" in Ouahigouya's university hospital. The detachment of volunteers and soldiers was reportedly deployed to maintain security at the aerodrome when they fell victim to a terrorist attack.
Security sources confirmed the death toll and reported that "several dozen terrorists had been neutralized" during the counterattack.
On Thursday, Burkina Faso's military junta announced "general mobilization" for the purposes of combating attacks by groups affiliated with “Al-Qaeda” and ISIS.
Burkina Faso has been held in a death grip by a violent insurgency since 2015, and France had exploited this to maintain a military presence in the country.
Sending troops in 2013, under the pretext of fighting terrorists in the Sahel region, France's security operation proved to be a failure in light of the proliferation of terrorism. The operation ended in February following the deterioration of France's ties with its ex-colony.
Back in March, Burkina Faso authorities indefinitely suspended French-based TV channel France 24 following the controversial airing of an interview with Yezid Mebarek, a militant leader affiliated with the terror organization AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). Providing a platform for extremist organizations is not only equivalent to "acting as a communications office for these terrorists, but, worse, it is providing a space for the legitimization of terrorist actions and hate speech".
The broadcaster, on the other hand, rebuked the government's accusations and condemned the decision to suspend the channel without due notice.