Unidentified gunmen on Thursday killed a soldier and a civilian in an attack on a gold mine in northern Burkina Faso, the mine and other sources said.
The pre-dawn attack at the Karma mine near Ouahigouya saw “several dozen armed men, probably terrorists” raid the facility’s security base, a security official said.
Five people were also wounded, two seriously, before the attack was repelled, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A mineworker reached by AFP said the attack lasted nearly an hour and employees were then evacuated to Ouahigouya.
The Karma mine was sold in March by Canada’s Endeavour Mining to a Burkina consortium, Nere Mining, for $25 million. Last year, it produced 88,000 ounces of gold.
The mine issued a statement confirming the death toll and announcing it was suspending activities “in order to concentrate efforts on securing” the site, its employees and sub-contractors.
The landlocked Sahel country has been in the grip of a nearly seven-year-old insurgency launched by jihadists from neighbouring Mali.
More than 2,000 people have died and some 1.8 million people have fled their homes.
Attacks have been concentrated in the north and east of the country, badly affecting the economy, especially the mining industry.
On Sunday, a soldier was wounded when a supply convoy for a gold mine in Bongou, in eastern Burkina, came under attack. The following day, the mine itself came under shellfire.
In April, Russian miner Nordgold said it was halting activities at its Taparko mine in the north — the country’s biggest privately-owned mine.
Burkina Faso has been under military rule since January, when colonels angered at failures to roll back the insurgency ousted the elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
After a relative lull, jihadist attacks resumed, inflicting a toll of more than 200 civilian and military dead over the past three months.