Iamgold suspends convoys to Burkina Faso gold mine after attack

Women who fled from attacks of armed militants in Sahel region of Soum walk at an informal camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo

OUAGADOUGOU, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Gunmen attacked a convoy of Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) vehicles travelling to the Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso on Tuesday, wounding one police officer before being repelled by the convoy's security detail, the Canadian mining company said.

Following the attack, Iamgold has suspended convoys to and from Essakane, which is the company's biggest operating mine and is near the border with Niger.

Assailants fired on the vehicles from several hundred metres away and retreated after a brief firefight with security personnel. No passengers were hurt and the police officer is in a stable condition, the statement issued on Tuesday said.

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"After analysis of the situation, all convoys coming or going to Essakane are cancelled until further notice," the Toronto-listed company said.

The attack came less than two weeks after at least 80 people were killed when Islamist militants raided a civilian convoy that was being escorted by military police near the northern town of Arbinda. read more

Militant violence in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali has intensified in recent years despite the presence and interventions by U.N., regional and Western troops.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced by the violence in Burkina Faso since 2018.

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Reporting by Aaron Ross; Writing by Cooper Inveen; Editing by David Clarke

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