Suspected jihadi attack in Togo kills 8 soldiers, injures 13

Togo's government says at least eight soldiers have been killed and 13 other security forces members wounded in an attack by extremists in northern Togo near the border with Burkina Faso

LOME, Togo -- At least eight soldiers have been killed and 13 other security forces members wounded in an ambush by extremists in northern Togo near the border with Burkina Faso, the government said.

The incident was a worrying sign that jihadis who are staging increasing attacks in neighboring countries are expanding their activity into Togo.

Early Wednesday, a group of heavily armed men ambushed an outpost in the Kpinkankandi locality in the Kpendjal prefecture, the Togolese government said in a statement. An armored vehicle was damaged and a jeep burned in the deadly attack.

By Thursday, no group had claimed responsibility. Togo’s government blamed “terrorists” for what it called a “cowardly and barbaric attack.”

The government said it wanted to reassure “(Togo’s) entire population of the determination of the defense and security forces to protect our country and to seek out and disable armed terrorist groups.” It appealed for the assistance of the civilian population.

It was the second such attack in Togo in the past year. An attack in November 2021 in the same area was repelled by military and security forces and caused no casualties.

Groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State Group have been carrying out increasing attacks in the Sahel region, especially in neighboring Burkina Faso.