Three civilians wounded as Burkina soldiers riot

 

OUAGADOUGOU — Three civilians were injured overnight when soldiers rioted in the streets over pay in the northern Burkina Faso town of Dori, a medical source said.

“Three people were wounded by stray bullets,” the source told AFP. “Their lives are not in danger.”

Looting was also reported during the night in the town some 260 kilometres (160 miles) northeast of the capital Ouagadougou. Residents said soldiers fired in the air in the city centre and at their base.

Calm was restored on Monday morning in Dori and at Kaya in the northeast, where sporadic overnight shooting was also reported, as well as in the eastern towns of Tenkodogo and Koupela where unrest was reported, residents said.

“It’s about bonuses. According to the explanation I’ve been given, these are troops of the class that passed out in 2006 who consider that they are entitled to a bonus,” government spokesman Alain Edouard Traore said.

“But the (military) hierarchy has told them that they don’t have any right,” he added.

President Blaise Compaore, in power since 1987, has since February been confronted with an unprecedented wave of unrest, marked by social protests as well as military mutinies sometimes accompanied by violence and looting.

Discontent persists in the army of this poor, landlocked west African state despite a range of financial benefits that have been granted to troops in the past few weeks.
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