OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – At least 37 people are dead following an apparent attack on a convoy of five buses transporting mine workers in the West African country of Burkina Faso.
The workers were employed by a Canadian mine known as Boungou Mine, which is located in the eastern part of Burkina Faso.
The ambush, which aside from the fatalities also injured around sixty people, occurred about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the mine.
The five buses were traveling with a military escort when they came under fire from a group of gunmen.
The Montreal, Canada-based operator of the mine, Semafo Inc., issued a statement on Wednesday acknowledging the attack.
“Semafo Inc. regrets to report there was an attack on the road between Fada and the Boungou Mine site in the East region of Burkina Faso. The incident happened approximately 40 kilometers from the Boungou Mine.”
“The convoy, escorted by military personnel, comprised five buses transporting SEMAFO national employees, contractors and suppliers. Information currently has several fatalities and injuries. We will issue a more fulsome statement when complete details are known,” the statement said.
“Boungou mine site remains secured and our operations are not affected. We are actively working with all levels of authorities to ensure the on-going safety and security of our employees, contractors and suppliers.”
The company additionally expressed its sympathy to families of the victims in addition to its firm support of Burkina Faso’s security forces.
Semafo is an intermediate gold producer with more than twenty years’ experience building and operating mines in West Africa. The corporation operates two mines, the Mana and Boungou Mines in Burkina Faso.
There has been no claim of responsibility by any party for carrying out the attack. The increasingly political unstable nature of the country and spasmodic violence has given gives rise to incidents such as this that occurred on Wednesday.