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Jihadists Blow Up Bridges to Isolate Towns in Burkina Faso

Jihadist rebels last week blew up two bridges in northern Burkina Faso in a bid to isolate key towns in the region, the army said on Tuesday.

Children displaced by attacks gather in a makeshift camp for the displaced in Youba in Yatenga province in Burkina Faso. Taken 4.20.2020. © 2022 VOA News.

OUAGADOUGOU - Highway bridges at Wousse and Nare villages were blown up almost simultaneously on Friday, the military said. The attacks are "an attempt to isolate" the towns, the military added.

The Nare bridge had recently been repaired after being damaged in a bomb blast on June 30.

Burkina Faso's ruling junta last month announced it would create two "zones of military interest" in the north and east of the country that are reputed havens for jihadists.

In these areas, "human presence is forbidden" - a move aimed at giving the army freer range to crack down on the rebels.

Blowing up the bridges "could aim at preventing people from leaving the military zones and enable the terrorists to remain mingled with the population," thus hampering the operation, said Mahamoudou Sawadogo, a security expert.

Other attacks in the north this year have "systematically" targeted telecommunications and strategic installations, including an airfield at Ouahigouya, Sawadogo said.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest nations in the world, and since 2015, terrorist incursions have shaken the nation, leaving 1.9 million people displaced and hundreds of people dead.

© 2022 VOA News

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