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Six soldiers, girl killed as Burkina mutiny quelled
by Staff Writers
Ouagadougou (AFP) June 4, 2011

Six soldiers and a young girl were killed when the Burkina Faso military quashed a mutiny, the government announced Saturday.

Disgruntled soldiers have been looting and letting off gunfire in the economic capital for days as they demand higher wages.

On Friday President Blaise Compaore sent in a unit of his presidential guard, backed up by parachute commandos and police -- the first military intervention since unrest broke out among garrisons nationwide in March.

Six soldiers in the camp who put up resistance were killed during the operation in southwestern Bobo Dioulasso and a young girl was killed in the crossfire, security minister Jerome Bougouma told a press conference on Saturday.

The minister said 25 civilians and eight soldiers were also injured but the mutiny was brought to a close.

The troops "have put an end to the schemes of the mutinous soldiers," Bougouma told reporters.

"We have arrested more than 57 mutineers," he said. "A search operation is continuing with the help of the public to arrest those on the run."

"The government remains ready to negotiate, to talk," but in the case of new "excesses," order and discipline will be restored, he said.

The soldiers will now face prosecution, Justice Minister Jerome Traore said.

One of the operation commanders told AFP: "We are currently collecting weapons, ammunition and stolen items. This could take one to two weeks, because lots of things were taken."

Residents in Bobo Dioulasso reported a calm night on Friday. Members of the presidential guard remained in the city but people were being allowed to go about their business, one man said.

Until now the government has generally responded to soldier unrest by giving out bonuses.

Troops have made no political demands nor shown any intention of seeking to overthrow the regime, but authorities have also been faced with public protests over high food prices, unemployment and the looting of property by troops.

In a bid to quell unrest since February, Compaore has fired army and police chiefs and formed a new government, naming himself defence minister, while promising subsidies on basic commodities and other urgent measures.

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Fresh looting in Burkina's second-largest city
Ouagadougou (AFP) June 2, 2011
Authorities imposed a curfew in Burkina Faso's second-largest city on Thursday after angry troops went on another rampage, firing shots into the air and looting businesses, residents said. In a repeat of events Tuesday night in Bobo Dioulasso, soldiers left the country's second-largest base after midnight heading for the centre of town, said witnesses. Through the night, troops looted sh ... read more

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