Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Ten people were killed Sunday in northern Burkina Faso in a “terrorist attack”, according to a security source and a local elected official.

“Around 10 armed individuals in the morning carried out a terrorist attack in the village of Sikire,” which left “10 dead and two seriously wounded,” a security source said.

Sikire is in the Sahel region and is frequently a target of extremist attacks.

According to a local official in Arbinda, about 20 kilometres away, contacted by phone from Ouagadougou, “the assailants armed with Kalashnikovs made several tours of the village opening fire on the inhabitants.”

“They ransacked and set fire to shops and other businesses and took motorbikes,” added the official who requested anonymity.

He said the inhabitants had stayed holed up in the homes “in panic over these attacks which have been increasing in the area,” he said.

On January 10, 12 people were killed in attack in Gasseliki, a village around 30 kilometres south of Arbinda.

Burkina Faso lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a bloody Islamist insurgency.

The region turned into a hotbed of violent extremism and lawlessness after chaos engulfed Libya in 2011.

At first concentrated in the north, the attacks have spread to other regions including the east, which borders Togo and Benin.

The capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times, leaving nearly 60 dead.

The attacks attributed to several extremist groups and to other smaller factions has caused more than 280 deaths since 2015.

Since January first, a state of emergency has been declared in 14 of the country’s 45 provinces.

In the face of failing to stop the increasing attacks, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore earlier this month fired the army chief and on Thursday in a cabinet reshuffle replaced the ministers of defence and security.