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At least 29 people were killed in two separate incidents in Burkina Faso’s troubled north on Sunday after a food convoy and a transport truck were attacked, the government said.

One vehicle transporting people and goods “rode over an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Barsalogho area” leaving at least 15 passengers dead, government spokesman Remis Fulgance Dandjinou said in a statement. Most of the dead were traders.

Meanwhile, about 50km away, 14 people were killed after a convoy of mostly three-wheelers taking food to people displaced by fighting, was attacked.

“This drama comes as important security efforts are under way in this region,” officials said. “Military reinforcements have been deployed.”

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from the city of Kaya, said she spoke to some people in the area of the second attack last week. 

“We could send the tension and fear. In fact, we found some people who were preparing to leave that area because they heard of attacks on many nearby villages,” she said.

“The situation becomes more volatile the further north you go. The government has deployed troops to this area. They have been carrying out operations.”

Armed conflict

Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, has been struggling with an armed conflict since 2015.

The West African country’s army has been increasingly targeted by rebels.

Earlier this month, an attack on a military base in northern Burkina Faso killed 24 soldiers.

The violence, which originated in neighbouring Mali, began in the north but has since spread to the east.

The capital Ouagadougou has been attacked three times, including a March 2018 assault on the military headquarters that left eight dead.

A summit of regional heads of state is due to be held in Ouagadougou on Saturday to discuss the security situation.

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