A new bloody attack by suspected jihadists killed thirty-three soldiers on Thursday in eastern Burkina Faso, a Sahelian country that has been sinking deeper and deeper in recent weeks into the violence that began in 2015.

“The military detachment of Ougarou”, in the Eastern region, “faced a large complex attack on the morning of Thursday,” an army statement said. “Thirty-three of our soldiers unfortunately fell with weapons in hand, while twelve others were injured,” he added.

“During the fighting, which was particularly intense, the soldiers of the detachment showed remarkable determination in the face of an enemy who came in large numbers”, according to the army, which affirms that they “thus succeeded in neutralizing the least forty terrorists before reinforcements arrive”.

The deployment of these reinforcements “made it possible to evacuate the wounded who are currently being cared for by the health services”, according to the army.

Security sources claimed that the attackers were “heavily armed” and that “some soldiers are missing”.

The press release states that “the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces salutes the memory of the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duty”. “He encourages all the units engaged in the operations to maintain efforts in order to strengthen the dynamics of reconquest in progress”, adds the text.

The attack comes a week after the April 20 massacre of at least 60 civilians in a northern village, Karma, by men wearing army uniforms.

Officially revealed on Sunday, it killed “sixty” people according to a regional prosecutor, “more than a hundred”, according to representatives of survivors and residents of Karma.

The government “firmly condemned Thursday” these despicable and barbaric acts “and affirmed to follow very closely the evolution of the investigation”, opened by the prosecutor of the high court of Ouahigouya (north) in order to “elucidate the facts and “challenging everyone involved”.

Karma’s victims were laid to rest Thursday evening.

“The administrative authorities have mobilized for the burial of the remains of our mothers, our fathers, our sisters and our sons”, or “a hundred people”, declared to AFP Daouda Belem, one survivors.

He thanked the government for “allowing Karma to bury his dead” and called for collaboration with the gendarmerie in their investigation.

On April 18, at least twenty-four people, including 20 civilian army auxiliaries, were killed in two attacks by suspected jihadists in eastern central Burkina.

On April 15, six soldiers and 34 civilian auxiliaries were killed in the northern assault on their detachment.

Burkina Faso, the scene of two military coups in 2022, has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of jihadist violence that appeared in Mali and Niger a few years earlier and which has spread beyond their borders.

The violence has claimed more than 10,000 lives over the past seven years – civilians and soldiers – according to NGOs, and some two million displaced.

Burkina Faso’s transitional president, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power in a putsch in September 2022, signed a year-long “general mobilization” decree last week, allowing the requisition of “young people aged 18 and over” to go and fight against the jihadists who are bloodying the country.