Dozens dead in attack on Canadian miner Semafo’s convoy in Burkina Faso – by Nicolas Van Praet and Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – November 7, 2019)

Assailants ambushed a convoy carrying employees of Canadian gold miner Semafo Inc. in Burkina Faso and killed dozens of people, one of the deadliest insurgent attacks in the West African country in recent years.

The raid occurred on a road between the town of Fada and Semafo’s flagship Boungou gold mine in Burkina Faso’s eastern region of Est, the Montreal-based mining company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The local governor for the region said 37 people were killed and more than 60 injured in what he called an “ambush” by unidentified individuals. “The governor firmly condemns this barbaric and cowardly attack,” regional governor Lieutenant-Colonel Saidou T.P. Sanou said in an official statement.

The five-bus convoy was under military escort, Semafo said, and was carrying company employees, contractors and suppliers. A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said the department has no reports of any Canadian citizens being affected.

The strike highlights the increasing security threat facing companies and citizens in Burkina Faso. An escalating wave of hundreds of violent attacks in the country has inflicted massive damage on the impoverished West African country in recent months.

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