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Extremists kill 19, burn down a health center in Burkina Faso

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Extremists kill 19, burn down a health center in Burkina Faso

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At least 19 people, including nine security force members, have been killed during an attack by suspected extremists in Burkina Faso, the government-press agency said Tuesday.

The attack in Foube in the Center-North region also injured a staff member from the aid group Doctors Without Borders and burned down a healthcare center, said the organization. The violence was likely targeting a gendarme post a few hundred meters away.

“We are shocked by this news and alarmed by this situation,” Mamadou Diarra, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Burkina Faso, told the Associated Press (AP)

The attack is the latest, in escalating violence, linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State across the country, that’s killed thousands and displaced more than 1.4 million people. Earlier this month, more than 50 people were killed, including 49 gendarmes in the Sahel’s Soum province.

According to a witness, the jihadists hid behind a group of displaced people before they attacked, injuring scores in the process.

Following the attack, frustration is mounting among civilians at the government’s inability to stem the violence.

A civil society group is now demanding the resignation of the president, with protests planned for November 27.

“We think that if the president resigns, someone else will be able to handle the problem because we realize that the president is the problem,” said Mamadou Drabo, executive secretary for Save Burkina, a civil society group.

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