The army said that unidentified shooters attacked a convoy of five vehicles from the Boungou gold mine in eastern Burkina Faso, killing six people and wounding two others.
Endeavor, the biggest gold miner in the West African country, declined to comment.
According to sources in the mining sector, the dead were not Endeavour employees but locals who supplied goods to the mine.
“The five vehicles, for reasons which remain to be determined, remained behind the convoy, outside the security system put in place by the military,” the army said in a statement.
The attack underscores the dangers of operating in Burkina Faso, where since 2018, Islamist militants affiliated with Islamic State and al Qaeda have taken over large areas of the north and east, killing thousands and displacing over a million.
Thirty-nine people were killed in an ambush on buses filled with workers from the Boungou mine in 2019. Back then, the mine was owned by Quebec-based Semafo, which was acquired by Endeavour in 2020.
According to the US State Department, “Terrorist attacks continued to increase steadily in 2020. Security incidents included the use of IEDs, kidnapping, small-arms attacks, and targeted killings in an expanding part of the country in the North, the East, and the South. Targets appeared to shift from military and gendarme units to civilians and volunteer defense forces.”
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Six Killed in Mining Convoy Attack in Eastern Burkina Faso – Bloomberg
- Militants kill six in attack on convoy from Burkina Faso gold mine – Reuters
- Burkina Faso: Armed assailants attack mining convoy in Est Region Aug. 26, killing at least seven people – Crisi24
- Jihadist ambush on gold mine vehicle convoy kills seven in Burkina Faso – WION