At least 15 people have been killed following an attack on a convoy transporting traders in a town in northern Burkina Faso on Friday, the government has said.

The attack, carried out by an unidentified group of assailants, left several others wounded. Many more were still unaccounted for, the government said in a statement on Saturday.

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“The provisional toll mentions 15 dead, wounded and people missing as well as significant material damage,” communications minister Remis Fulgance Dandjinou said following the attack in Loroum province.

Burkina Faso has been battling armed groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIL since 2017.

Hundreds have been killed in the past year in the Sahel nation, and more than half a million people have fled their homes due to attacks which have also fuelled ethnic and religious tensions.

On Thursday, Burkina Faso’s armed forces said troops destroyed a rebel camp in another province in the north of the country. It said 10 assailants and a soldier died during the operation.

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