A mayor in northern Burkina Faso has been shot dead by “unidentified armed individuals

OUAGADOUGOU–A mayor in northern Burkina Faso has been shot dead by “unidentified armed individuals” in a zone bordering Mali that has been repeatedly targeted by jihadists, according to military and security sources on Monday.

The mayor of the Koutougou department in Soum province, Hamidou Koundaba, was “coldly killed” when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on him near his home on Sunday night, according to Malian security sources.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said on Twitter, “I strongly condemn the cowardly and despicable murder.”

Burkina Faso is one of the West African states in the troubled Sahel region which has been facing numerous jihadist attacks since 2015, including the kidnapping of local officials.

Last month, gunmen on motorcycles abducted a former municipal councilor in Lassa village, also in Soum.  The man was released several days later.

About 80 jihadist attacks have occurred in northern Burkina Faso over the past three years, leaving 133 dead, according to official figures released.

Authorities say the West African nation’s capital Ouagadougou has also come under attack, most recently in March when eight military officers were killed and 85 people wounded in twin attacks on the country’s military headquarters and the French embassy.