At least 35 civilians, mostly women, and seven soldiers were killed in one of the deadliest assaults in the last five years by armed fighters in northern Burkina Faso.

Iran Press/Africa: An armed attack in northern Burkina Faso on Tuesday killed 35 civilians, almost all of them women, the president said, one of the deadliest assaults in nearly five years of violence in the West African country.

Seven soldiers and 80 armed militants were also killed in the double attack on a military base and Arbinda town in Soum province, the army said.

According to an Al Jazeera report, Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger, has seen a regular target of attacks, which have left hundreds dead since the start of 2015 when the violence began to spread across the Sahel region.

"A large group of terrorists simultaneously attacked the military base and the civilian population in Arbinda," the army chief of staff said in a statement.

"The heroic action of our soldiers has made it possible to neutralize 80 terrorists," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said. “This barbaric attack resulted in the death of 35 civilians, most of them women.”

Communications Minister and government spokesman Remis Dandjinou later said 31 of the civilian victims were women.

The president has declared 48-hours of national mourning.

The morning raid was carried out by dozens of militants on motorbikes and lasted several hours before armed forces backed by the air force drove the fighters back, the army said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the violence in Burkina Faso has been blamed on militants linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorist groups.


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