Benin: two soldiers killed in a mine explosion

At least two Beninese soldiers died Thursday in a mine explosion as their vehicle passed through northwestern Benin, near the border with Burkina Faso, two military sources told AFP. In the north, the army was the target in early December of two jihadist attacks described as“Ignoble” by President Patrice Talon, the first officially recognized by the authorities. Military reinforcements had been sent there.

Thursday, a military vehicle set off an explosive device in the department of Atacora, near the Pendjari park where two French tourists had been kidnapped in 2019 by bandits. “A soldier died on the spot, a second died in hospital and a third is in critical condition. There were also other wounded ”a senior military official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Another officer, reached by phone, confirmed “The death of two soldiers”, specifying that he “This is not an attack, but a military vehicle which hit an artisanal mine while it was going to carry out an operation”.

So far, the government and the military have not made an official statement. Moyizou Tourare, a resident of Tanguiéta, the locality where the tragedy occurred, also told AFP that“An army vehicle exploded on a mine not far from the Pendjari park”. “The vehicle is completely destroyed and unrecoverable”, he added, without being able to say if the explosion caused victims. This new incident comes eight days after President Talon made a statement to Parliament, assuring that Benin would “to strenghten” its military device to try to put an end to the incursions of jihadists from neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.

“For at least two years, we have deployed an important preventive system in our border towns where the terrorist threat (…) is strong”, he said, evoking “A worrying situation”. On December 2, two soldiers were killed by jihadists near Porga, in the department of Atacora, on the border with Burkina Faso. The day before, jihadists attacked soldiers in the neighboring department of Alibori. In February 2020, armed men attacked a police station in a village near the border with Burkina Faso, killing one. The authorities then spoke of an attack of “Poachers”. A year earlier, two French tourists had been kidnapped by bandits in the Pendjari park, before being “Resold” to jihadist groups in neighboring Burkina Faso. Their guide had been murdered.

Source link -94

Leave a Reply