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Islamic State claims attack in Burkina that killed 24 soldiers

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OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Islamic State claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest attacks against the Burkina Faso military in recent months, the SITE website that tracks militant attacks reported on Thursday.

The attack took place on Aug. 20 in Koutougou, in the country’s northern Soum province. Militants killed 24 Burkinabe soldiers and injured seven others.

A statement from Islamic State quoted by SITE attributed the attack to the group’s West Africa branch.

Once one of the region’s most peaceful countries, Burkina Faso has suffered a spillover of Islamist violence from its neighbours and large swathes of the country’s north are now out of control.

Deteriorating security prompted the Ouagadougou government to declare in December a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali, including Soum.

(Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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