Ambush on mining company convoy kills 37 in Burkina Faso

The SEMAFO company logo is seen in this file image

The attack took place on the road between Semafo's Fada and Boungou mine sites, about 40 kilometres from Boungou, it said in a statement.

After similar attacks past year, Semafo said it would transport expat workers to its mine by helicopter.

Military personnel were escorting five buses of Semafo employees as well as contractors and suppliers. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

The country's security forces, pictured during training, have been unable to stem jihadist violence which has intensified throughout 2019 to become nearly daily.

Shares in Australia's Perenti Global Ltd. slumped by a similar margin after it said members of its workforce in Burkina Faso were involved in the incident.

Later a year ago, five members of Burkina Faso's security forces were killed in an attack near the Boungou mine. And in August of past year, Semafo said that a bus headed to the company's other mine was held up by criminals and that gunfire was exchanged.

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The ambush underscores the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso, which observers say has increasingly become a refuge for jihadists from neighbouring Mali and Niger. More than 630 people in the country have died in regular attacks that include raids on villages, road mines and suicide bombings.

Terrorist groups including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and Ansaroul Islam are known to be active in the north of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso is an impoverished and politically fragile nation within the Sahel, and its security forces are badly geared up, poorly trained and underfunded. The attacks have so far killed 649 people and forced around 500,000 to flee their homes.

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions, including Est region, on January 1.

Militants have targeted mining companies in at least ten separate attacks since September 2017.

On Monday, an attack on a base in northern Burkina Faso that left five gendarmes and five civilians dead.

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