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Benin orders investigation after assaults that killed 15 civilians in north

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Benin’s President Patrice Talon has ordered an investigation after assaults that killed some 15 individuals within the north of the nation, the federal government introduced, denouncing “legal” acts.

Beninese authorities not often talk on assaults within the northern a part of the nation, the place the military is attempting to repel incursions by jihadist teams based mostly in neighboring Burkina Faso.

In keeping with native and safety sources, contacted by AFP, seven villagers within the Kerou commune had their throats slit by armed males on Monday night time, and lots of others disappeared following this assault. The following day, the commune of Banikoara, additionally within the north, was attacked and three civilians have been killed, in line with the identical sources.

On Wednesday, throughout a press briefing, authorities spokesman Wilfried Houngbedji supplied, on behalf of the President, his condolences to the “grieving households” after “this tragedy”.

He didn’t give particulars of the assaults however mentioned: “When these criminals attempt to acquire a foothold and don’t succeed as a result of there’s a response (…) from the protection and safety forces, they attempt to demoralize the inhabitants by finishing up reprisal operations of this nature, so macabre.

They wish to “shock the individuals and make them imagine that the safety response is lower than the duty and that they might have their salvation solely by rallying to their trigger,” he added.

He later confirmed to AFP that about 15 individuals had died.

“This drama exhibits us that it’s a everlasting problem,” he mentioned on the press briefing, lamenting that “a failure within the chain of operations” prevented the safety forces from deploying “in a preventive method.

Thus “the president has requested {that a} fact-finding mission be dispatched to the sector to evaluate the true circumstances of the prevalence of this tragedy,” he added.

The northern areas of Benin, Togo, and Ghana are below assault and incursion by jihadist teams that thrive within the Sahel, notably in Burkina Faso, and search to maneuver south.

Togo lately claimed that about 100 civilians and 40 army personnel had been killed because the first jihadist assaults in late 2021.