Australia's Perenti says 19 of its employees killed in Burkina Faso attack

Semafo Boungou mine pit Burkina Faso attack

Semafo tightened security at its mine past year following attacks that killed three workers and five security officials.

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

Col. Saidou Sanou, the region's governor, gave the provisional toll in a statement, while the mining company only said that it was aware of "several fatalities and injuries".

The attack occurred about 40 kilometres from the Boungou mine - one of the two sites operated by the company in the West African country - when a convoy of five buses accompanied by a military escort was ambushed.

During a Security Council meeting on peace in Africa last month, Mr. Guterres declared that the sprawl of terrorist networks is a growing, transnational threat to the continent, with a pervasive climate crisis exacerbating violence, and straining resources.

The Burkina Faso government this year asked mining companies to make their own arrangements to transport their employees, according to sources close to the miners.

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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.

Nearly 500,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes.

The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso's neighbours Mali and Niger, has been afflicted by the violence despite the presence of the regional G5 Sahel force as well as French and United States troops.

"I call on Burkinabe people from within the country and outside to unite and mobilize regardless of religion, ethnicity, political opinion, in the fight against terrorism", he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on Islamic extremists, who have launched scores of attacks on churches and public officials across the north of Burkina Faso the last few years.

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