Ambush in northern Ivory Coast kills three soldiers


ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Three Ivorian soldiers were killed on patrol near the border with Burkina Faso on Saturday when one of their vehicles hit an improvised explosive and the convoy was ambushed, Ivory Coast's defence ministry said in a statement.

The soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission near the northeastern town of Tehini when they fell victim to what the ministry called a complex attack.

An additional four soldiers were wounded, it said in a statement on Sunday, without giving further details.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but previous attacks in the area have been blamed on jihadists. Armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are active in Ivory Coast's northern neighbours, Mali and Burkina Faso, and have made incursions south.

One soldier was killed when armed men attacked the nearby town of Tougbo on June 7.

Ivory Coast and France on Thursday inaugurated a new counter-terrorism academy in the commercial capital Abidjan, intended to boost regional capacity to combat the growing Islamist threat.

(Reporting by Ange Aboa;Writing by Alessandra Prentice;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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