Eight troopers have been killed on Wednesday and 13 wounded in a “terrorist assault” in northern Togo close to the border with Burkina Faso, the federal government mentioned, utilizing a time period sometimes designating jihadists.
Togo’s troops are deployed within the north of the nation to try to include a jihadist risk pushing south from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger the place militants linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group function.
The assault prompted the European Union to specific alarm in regards to the unfold of jihadism to the area’s coastal states.
“At round 03:00 GMT, a ahead working base… in Kpinkankandi was the scene of a violent terrorist assault by a gaggle of unidentified closely armed people. Sadly, among the many safety forces, eight have died and 13 have been injured,” a press release learn on nationwide tv mentioned.
No group has claimed duty for the assault however Kpinkankandi is situated close to the border with Burkina Faso.
A senior safety supply in Togo who requested to stay nameless advised AFP that the troopers have been attacked by a gaggle of 60 gunmen who arrived on motorbikes.
“They exchanged hearth for greater than two hours… after which a reinforcement unit was hit by an improvised explosive system,” he added.
Troopers had foiled an assault in November final 12 months within the northern village of Sanloaga, making Wednesday’s assault the primary to trigger casualties.
Violence from armed teams and felony networks is on the rise throughout West Africa.
‘Risk is spreading’
At a gathering of West African defence chiefs final week, Ghana’s Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul mentioned that in three years the area had suffered greater than 5,300 terror-related assaults claiming round 16,000 lives.
A significant concern is how the risk is spreading from the Sahel to northern components of coastal Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo.
EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell mentioned Wednesday the assault “reveals that the terrorist risk is spreading towards the international locations of the Gulf of Guinea.
“Efforts should be redoubled to cease it earlier than it’s too late,” Borrell warned.
In April, 5 troopers have been killed in northern Benin in an ambush by gunmen whereas 9 folks have been killed in February within the deadliest assault to this point within the nation.
“This territorial enlargement by jihadists goes to progressively give delivery to home-grown jihadist cells, made up of native recruits, that feed off of the native grievances,” wrote Mathieu Pellerin, Sahel researcher on the Worldwide Disaster Group.
Native points embody tensions over entry to sources, stigmatisation of sure ethnic teams, presence of self-defence teams in addition to felony and trafficking gangs, he added in a report in French revealed earlier this 12 months for the French Institute of Worldwide Relations.
“For coastal West African states, the place for now the risk is contained when it comes to depth and restricted geographically, there’s nonetheless time to cease the safety state of affairs from deteriorating.”