Armed extremists threaten teachers in northern Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso's security minister says heavily armed Islamic extremists forced their way into schools in the north this week and demanded that teachers stop instructing in French and instead focus only on Islam and the Quran.

Simon Compaore told journalists Friday that soldiers had been deployed to Baraboule commune, where the incidents occurred, and surrounding areas near the border with Mali. He declined to say how many were deployed.

There were no reported casualties, but Moumouni Tamboura, a primary school teacher in the town of Djibo, said teachers were too scared to work in the current "atmosphere of terror."

Last month, extremists killed 12 soldiers in an attack on an army barracks in the northern town of Nassoumbou, located 260 kilometers (160 miles) from Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou.