Blast kills two soldiers in tense Burkina region

Two soldiers died and six were wounded on Wednesday when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in eastern Burkina Faso, a poor Sahel state where Islamist unrest is gaining ground, security sources said.

The attack in Kabonga was the latest using an improvised explosive device against soldiers or police, and came as a senior police official warned of rising unrest in the country's east.

A similar strike a week ago killed seven people, soldiers and gendarmes sent to reinforce a police station that had come under attack in the restive town of Pama.

A security source said the latest blast targeted a mine clearance team that was also headed for Pama to "search for and neutralise" explosive devices planted by jihadists who have infiltrated the area in recent months.

A similar attack three weeks ago killed six other people in the region.

Local media published a warning by police commissioner Karim Drabo who oversees the region. He said armed militants aimed "to set up bases for terrorist attacks in the zone" and were "gaining ground".

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has battled increased Islamist violence of the sort that plagues neighbouring Mali and Niger, and experts say the recent surge is likely the result of pressure on jihadist insurgents there.

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