A jihadist attack in Burkina Faso kills three foreign journalists
Yet another terrorist attack in Burkina Faso, there are deaths and injuries. Three journalists, two Spaniards, and an Irishman, and a fourth person were killed in an assault by a jihadist group on Monday in Burkina Faso, along a road in the province of Kompienga, in the south-eastern part of the country.
Initially, it was thought that they had been kidnapped, and the Spanish Foreign Ministry had made it known that it was in contact with the Spanish embassy in Mali (also responsible for Burkina Faso) in the hope of finding its kidnapped citizens. Today, however, confirmation of their death has arrived from local intelligence and also from the Spanish government in the person of Foreign Minister Arancha González.
Among the victims is David Beriáin, a famous documentarian and one of the leading exponents of European investigative journalism. He had made numerous reports in various parts of the world. He was famous for the documentary “The world of Narcos”. Recently Beriáin had gotten into trouble with the Italian justice system: he was being investigated for fraud because of “Clandestine,” a report on the Italian mafias, considered a fake by the investigators. The other dead Spanish journalist is Roberto Fraile, a cameraman who had worked in war theatres such as the Syrian one. The other victims were an Irish journalist and a Burkinabe who was with them. Three people, on the other hand, were injured.
The three journalists were making a documentary for Spanish television Movistar TV focusing on poaching in Burkina Faso. They were heading to the Pama Forest Reserve with an anti-poaching patrol. The convoy was located about 15 kilometers south of the town of Natiaboni when the ambush began.
According to the reconstructions, the attackers were on board two pick-ups and about twenty motorcycles. In addition to attacking journalists and convoy members, the attackers also stole two jeeps, equipment, drones, and weapons. Some witnesses report that, despite the convoy being made up of forty people, the attackers outnumbered them.
In a statement, the Ministry of Communication Burkinabe reported that “for the moment, the identity of the kidnappers is not established”. The Associated Press reports hearing a voice message in which the alleged assailants claim responsibility for the attack. They are allegedly members of the Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin, literally the group for the defense of Islam and Muslims, a jihadist-type terrorist organization active in this part of Africa since 2017. “We killed three whites,” they say, adding that they were also able to take two cars, weapons, and twelve motorbikes.
In recent years, there have been many kidnappings across Burkina Faso, where jihadist and terrorist attacks have multiplied since 2015. If previously concentrated in the north of the country, on the border with Mali, the violence of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims affiliated with Al Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State in the Greater Sahara have then spread to the capital and other regions of the African country.