Africa

Burkina Faso forces kill key jihadist, arrest others

Burkina Faso's government says its military forces have killed a key jihadist and arrested 18 others in the country's north, close to the West African nation's border with Mali.

Security Minister Simon Compaore said Friday that forces also seized weapons and ammunition in Wednesday's operation. He said Burkina Faso is determined to defeat any jihadists trying to enforce Shariah law and that operations are underway to track extremists near the country's northern border.

A senior security officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press, said all those arrested Wednesday are linked to Ansaru Islam. He said the killed jihadist is a close aide to the group's leader.

The Burkina Faso-based extremists have claimed responsibility for a December attack that killed 12 gendarmes.