Burkina Faso says its forces have killed 29 extremists

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Burkina Faso's armed forces say defense and security forces killed 29 extremists in an operation last week in the country's east.

Armed forces spokesman Col. Karim Ouili said late Sunday the combined actions of special forces by land and air on Feb. 19-20 took place in the localities of Kompienbiga, Kabonga and a touristic hunting area. He said weapons, ammunition and other materials were also seized.

Burkina Faso has seen a major increase in extremist attacks in the past few years. The threat, which initially came from the northern Sahel region, has shifted into the forested east near the border with Niger.

The government recently declared a state of emergency in 14 provinces of seven regions.

Burkina Faso is part of the G5 Sahel regional counterterror force.