At least 49 gendarmes and 4 civilians have been killed in a brutal attack by gunmen at the tri-border region in Burkina Faso.
News of the attack comes two days after another assault was reported in the area near Niger and Mali, in which seven police officers were killed.
Security Minister Maxime Kone told state media on Sunday the death toll from the attack on a military police outpost near a gold mine in Inata was provisional.
“This morning a detachment of the gendarmerie suffered a cowardly and barbaric attack. They held their position,” Kone said, adding that 22 survivors had been found.
Survival toll has now moved up to 46, according to government spokesperson Ousseni Tamboura.
The death toll also rose, after previously being estimated at 35 by security agencies. There are still fears that the toll could yet rise further as reports quoted local sources as saying that approximately 150 gendarmes were stationed at the facility.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest against defence and security forces since Burkina Faso was gripped by conflict in 2015.
It has provoked protests about the authorities’ failure to curb the years-long conflict that has killed thousands of people and forced more than a million people to flee their homes.