Burkina Faso, Mali attacks kill 18

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Suspected Islamists have killed at least 18 people in attacks in northern Burkina Faso and central Mali, government and security sources say.

Attacks by militants with links to al-Qaeda and Islamic State are common in the two West African countries, where Islamists have expanded their reach in recent years despite the presence of 15,000 UN peacekeepers and 5100 French troops.

This week Chad announced it would deploy 1200 troops to the area to complement France's Barkhane counter-terrorism force, as leaders of the five Sahel countries and their allies met to assess the security situation.

The attack in Burkina Faso happened on Thursday morning between the towns of Markoye and Tokabangou, where residents were ambushed on their way to a market across the border in Dolbel, Niger, a government spokesman said.

Eight people died and nine were wounded. A security source said one more person later died of injuries.

In Mali, at least nine people were killed and others were missing or wounded in attacks near Bandiagara in the central Mopti region.

Gunmen opened fire in two villages on Wednesday evening and ambushed several public transport cars on the road between Sevare and Bankass on Thursday, two mayors said.