SMF Stock Drops Following Attack on Convoy in Burkina Faso

People wounded in an ambush on a Canadian-owned mine were taken to hospital for treatment

People wounded in an ambush on a Canadian-owned mine were taken to hospital for treatment

It was the third deadly attack on Canadian firm Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, in 15 months.

In August 2018, a Semafo employee and a subcontractor were killed when a bus carrying workers was targeted by bandits, and five police officers were killed in another attack a few days earlier.

Last year, African forces took part in a USA -led counter-terrorism training program in Burkina Faso as part of an annual military exercise for West African nations.

It was unclear exactly how many people were in the convoy, what their nationalities were or how many were missing.

Lt. Col. Saidou T.P. Sanou, the governor of the country's eastern region, described the attack as an "ambush".

The attack killed at least 37 and wounded 60, local authorities said.

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Quebec-based gold miner Semafo said five of its buses with a military escort came under fire on the road leading to its Boungou mine in the eastern region of Est, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Boungou, on Wednesday.

While there is no reports of any Canadian citizens being involved in the attack, it highlights a worrying trend of increasing violence in the country, which is facing issues with groups affiliated to al-Qaeda.

Increased bloodshed has forced hundreds-of-thousands of people to flee their homes, igniting a fast-growing humanitarian crisis.

The violence underscores the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso, which has been infiltrated by jihadists who have been active for years in neighboring Mali.

"Canada condemns today's terrorist attack against a convoy of Burkinabe workers of the Canadian mining company Semafo", the embassy said via Twitter. Then in August 2017, 18 people were killed in an attack on a Turkish restaurant in the capital.

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