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At least 37 killed in Assault on Canadian mine convoy in Burkina Faso

Last updated on November 7, 2019

Thirty-seven civilians were murdered and over 60 injured when gunmen ambushed a convoy hauling employees of Canadian gold miner Semafo in southern Burkina Faso, regional police said on Wednesday.

Semafo tightened safety annually after armed events near two of its mines in the nation.

Semafo stated in a statement before that the assault on a convoy of five buses with army escort happened on the path to the Boungou Mine in the eastern area of Est, about 40 kilometers out of Boungou, which there were several deaths and accidents.

The Est sheriff’s office afterward gave additional details, stating”unidentified armed men set an ambush to get a convoy hauling Semafo employees,” providing a provisional civilian death toll of 37 with over 60 injured.

What toll doesn’t include an unknown amount of those security forces who could have been murdered in the assault. The cost was likely to climb because there are a high amount of people still unaccounted for, according to a security source.

Two security sources said the army car leading the convoy was struck by an IED on a stretch of street where there isn’t any mobile community.

Soon after the first explosion, millions of gunmen opened fire. Among those sources said it seemed they targeted the buses in addition to the military escort, which was odd.

In December a police car was assaulted on precisely the same street, leading to five deaths.

When contacted by Reuters, a Semafo spokeswoman explained: “At this stage, we don’t have complete information and aren’t in a position to add to the morning’s launch.”

The Boungou mine is protected and operations aren’t affected, the business said.

Semafo’s Toronto-listed stocks hit on a nine-month low following the information and were trading down 10 percentage by 1755 GMT.

After a chunk of relative calm, Burkina has endured a homegrown insurgency for the last 3 decades, that was amplified using a spillover of jihadist violence and criminality from the disorderly northern neighbor Mali.

Following last year’s episodes, which Semafo stated were the job of”armed bandits”, the business strengthened its escorts and made a decision to transfer all expatriate workers by helicopter involving the Boungou mine and Ouagadougou.