Four French soldiers were injured in the explosion of an improvised explosive device in northern Burkina Faso, the French army says AFP Tuesday evening.
“(Their) all-terrain vehicle activated an IED as it left Ouahigouya airport,” the army said in a statement, adding that the unit was part of Operation Barkhane, the deployment of Paris in the Sahel against a jihadist insurgency.
Four soldiers were injured, one seriously, the army said, with the group evacuated to Mali or France for those in more serious condition.
Burkina Faso has been grappling with jihadist attacks since 2015, when militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group began staging cross-border raids from Mali.
More than 2,000 people have died, according to a AFP ring.
The scorching ‘tri-border’ area is frequently targeted by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) with deadly attacks on civilians and soldiers.
The French army has killed several high-ranking members of the ISGS since the start of its military intervention in Mali in 2013.
But last June, the French President Emmanuel Macron announced a significant reduction in the Barkhane mission to refocus on counter-terrorism operations and support for local forces.