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Daesh on killing spree in Africa despite Western military presence

Soldiers from Burkina Faso patrol on the road of Gorgadji in the Sahel area, Burkina Faso, on March 3, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Daesh-affiliated terrorist groups have gone on a killing spree across Africa as Takfiri outfits expand their footholds across the continent despite the presence of Western military forces.

A suicide bomber from the so-called Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a terrorist group aligned with Daesh, struck a restaurant in the city of Beni in eastern Congo on Saturday, killing at least five people as well as himself.

"The suicide bomber, prevented by security guards from entering a crowded bar, activated the bomb at the entrance of the bar," regional governor's spokesman General Ekenge Sylvain said in a statement, adding that six people died in the blast and 14 were injured, including two local officials.

Sylvain also said that the ADF had activated a "sleeper cell" in Beni to target citizens.

The Congolese city was rocked by two explosions in June at a Catholic church and at a busy intersection. No one was killed in either blast except the bomber.

Since November, Congo and neighboring Uganda have launched a military campaign against the ADF as officials have on multiple occasions blamed the terrorist group for bombings in the region.

Additionally, Nigerien authorities said at least six people had been killed in the most recent attacks by Takfiri terrorists in the country near its border with Burkina Faso.

"The provisional toll is... six dead including a policeman, two customs officers and three civilians" during attacks from Wednesday to Thursday, Niger’s interior ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that ten others were wounded when heavily armed gunmen simultaneously attacked a border post and a bridge near the border town of Makaldoni.

Makalondi, some 100 kilometers southwest of the Nigerien capital Niamey, lies in the Tillaberi region — a flashpoint zone where the frontiers of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali converge.

Niger is currently grappling with two Takfiri insurgencies, Daesh in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), and Boko Haram and Daesh in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the southeast near the border with Nigeria.

Elsewhere in Africa, Burkina Faso’s authorities announced a two-day period of mourning after terrorists killed at least 41 members of a government-backed civilian militia group this week.

The civilian fighters from the Homeland Defense Volunteers (VDP), a group the Burkinabe government funds and trains to contain Takfiri terrorists, were ambushed on Thursday during an operation in the northern Loroum province.

"In this painful circumstance and as a tribute to the valiant VDP and civilians who fell in defense of the homeland, the President of Burkina Faso decrees a national mourning period of forty-eight hours, starting Sunday," government spokesman Alkassoum Maiga said in a statement.

Burkinabe authorities have faced repeated protests in recent months over their failure to contain Takfiri terrorists who have in the past years claimed the lives of thousands across Africa's Sahel Region and forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

Terrorists linked to al-Qaeda and Deash have inflicted heavy casualties on the region's armies, killing soldiers in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali almost every week in scattered attacks despite the presence of foreign troops in the restive area.

French troops are stationed in the Sahel region under the pretext of fighting the spread of extremist militant forces there, while reports have emerged that their convoys deliver arms to the Takfiri militants.

France recently deployed more troops to 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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