Burkina Faso’s power struggle leaves eight dead

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Eight people have died in eastern Burkina Faso in what a minister described as a struggle between traditional chiefs, a statement said on Tuesday.

“A group of gunmen from villages along the border with Burkina and Ghana attacked the home of the traditional chief of Zoaga,” said a statement by Simeon Sawadogo, minister for territorial administration.

The attack occurred early on Monday in Zoaga, an area which lies on Burkina’s border with Ghana, about 250 kilometres (140 miles) southeast of the capital, Ouagadougou.

“This attack, unfortunately, killed eight people and wounded four,” he added, in the latest “twist in a crisis that has rocked the areas traditional chiefdom for some time.”

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The attackers looted and burned shops in a local market before fleeing towards the border, as security forces fanned out to find them.

In late January, a clash between rival local factions killed three people, including a former village mayor.

Intercommunal violence in Burkina has made it harder for the country’s armed forces to fight against jihadist fighters who have infiltrated the region in the past four years.

In a separate attack early on Monday, at least seven people were killed in inter-communal fighting in the Sahel region of Burkina, which is close to the border with Mali.

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