October 12, 2016 / 5:11 PM / a year ago

Three soldiers dead in northern Burkina Faso - government

OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen killed three Burkinabe soldiers on Wednesday, the defence ministry said, in the latest sign that instability in Mali is spreading to its southern neighbour.

Attacks by Islamist militants in Burkina Faso were rare before a major strike by al Qaeda-linked fighters in the capital that killed 29 people in January. The latest attack prompted President Roch Marc Kabore to delay a trip to Belgium and call an emergency ministerial meeting, government sources said.

“The death toll is three dead and one injured among Burkinabe forces and two attackers dead,” the ministry said in a statement on the attack at Ingangom, five kilometres from the Malian border. The same base was attacked in June, resulting in the death of three police officers.

A newly-formed militant group called Islamic State division in the Greater Sahara, led by a fighter formerly loyal to Algeria’s Mokhtar Belmokhtar, also claimed to have attacked a Burkinabe military position in the far north last month. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by Emma Farge; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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