Panic as gunshots rock military barracks

Gunshots were heard in several barracks in Burkina Faso on Sunday, including two in the capital Ouagadougou, military sources and residents told AFP.

“Since 1 am, gunfire has been heard here in Gounghin coming from the Sangoule Lamizana camp,” said a soldier in the district on Ouagadougou’s western outskirts.

Residents, who expressed fear, also spoke of “increasingly heavy fire”.

Shots were also heard at another military camp, Baby Sy, in the south of the capital, and at an air base near the airport, military sources said.

There was also gunfire at barracks in northern towns Kaya and Ouahigouya, residents there told AFP.

The exchanges of fire come a day after police arrested dozens in protests against the government’s failure to stem the jihadist violence ravaging the West African country.

Security sources reported that two soldiers were killed in the north during the protests, which had been banned by the authorities earlier in the week.

In Kaya, residents told AFP that protesters had stormed the headquarters of the ruling party.

Groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have plagued the landlocked Sahel nation since 2015, killing about 2,000 people, according to an AFP tally.