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Terrorism

Extremist raids leave 500,000 Burkina children without schools

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More than half a million children in Burkina Faso are unable to go to school because of attacks by extremists, the government said on Wednesday.

Armed extremists have forced the closure of 3,280 schools – nearly one in seven nationwide – affecting 511,221 students and 14,901 teachers, government spokesman Alkassoum Maiga said after a cabinet meeting.

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The landlocked Sahel state has been battling extremist insurgents since 2015, when militants started to mount cross-border raids from neighboring Mali.

More than 2,000 people have died, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

The national emergency aid body Conasure says that 1.5 million people, nearly two-thirds of them children, were internally displaced as of November 30.

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