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4 wounded as French soldiers open fire on Burkina Faso protesters blocking convoy

French and Burkinabe forces tried to deter protesters trying to block a French army convoy, local sources say.

French forces in Burkina Faso have shot and wounded several protesters blocking a French military convoy which they believed was carrying weapons for Takfiri terrorists.

Media cited local sources as saying that four people in the town of Kaya north of the capital were being treated for gunshot wounds inflicted on them by the French soldiers on Saturday.

"As the protesters tried to get closer, soldiers fired warning shots," the local sources said, adding some of the protesters in the demo received "gunshot wounds."

"The emergency department at the Kaya hospital received four people with gunshot wounds," a medical source reported.

A French military source denied anybody had been wounded in the incident, rejecting all responsibility.

"Nobody was wounded because of the actions of the French military personnel," a French military source was quoted as saying by AFP.

The convoy, which was crossing through the former French colony to Niger, had already been stopped this week by protests in the western city of Bobo Dioulasso and in the capital Ouagadougou, where local security forces had to fire tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

French troops are stationed in the wider Sahel region under the pretext of fighting the spread of extremist militant forces there.

However, reports emerged that the convoy of some 60 trucks aimed to deliver arms to the Takfiri militants.

The French army source said the convoy was not delivering weapons to the extremist militants "as can be read on social media."

France recently deployed more troops in the Sahel despite opposition to its presence in the volatile region. 

The United Nations declared in July last year that the spread of terrorist attacks in West Africa was so fast that the region had to consider bolstering its response beyond current military efforts.


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