Incident Summary:

12/16/2016: Assailants opened fire on a military base in Nassoumbou, Sahel, Burkina Faso. At least 5 assailants and 12 soldiers were killed and an unknown number of people were injured in the assault. Two soldiers were also reported missing. Ansar al-Islam (Burkina Faso) claimed responsibility for the attack. Sources also attributed the incident to the Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and suspected the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).



Burkina Faso

Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The incident occurred in Soum district.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Military
Name of Entity Burkinabe Army
Specific Description Base
Nationality of Target Burkina Faso
Target Type: Military
Name of Entity National Gendarmerie
Specific Description Base
Nationality of Target Burkina Faso
Additional Information
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Projectile (rockets, mortars, RPGs, etc.)
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Weapon Details
Rocket launchers and Kalashnikov assault rifles were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) No
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) Insurgency/Guerilla Action
Additional Information Casualty numbers conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the majority reliable estimates are reported here.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) No
Ansar al-Islam (Burkina Faso) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Posted to website, blog, etc.)
Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 40
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 17 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 17
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 5
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"A new frontier for Islamist militants?," BBC, April 3, 2017.
"Troops killed in Burkina Faso attack," BBC, December 16, 2016.
"12 Burkina Faso Troops Killed In Jihadist Attack," AFP (World Service), December 16, 2016.