Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: At least 20 people were killed in two attacks in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday, in a region prone to extremist violence, local and military sources said.

One vehicle, transporting people and goods, “rode over an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Barsalogho area, leaving at least ten passengers dead, most of them tradesmen”, a security source told AFP.

Meanwhile, around 50 kilometres away, ten drivers of three-wheeler food vans, travelling in convoy, were killed by armed attackers in a second attack, a local official said. The security spokeswoman confirmed that attack without giving a death toll.

A former French colony that ranks among the world’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso has been struggling with an Islamist militant revolt since 2015.

The food vans were carrying provisions for people displaced by the fighting, according to the local source.

The country’s army has been increasingly targeted by extremists. Earlier this month, an attack on a military base in northern Burkina Faso killed 24 in an unprecedented blow to the army in its campaign against extremists.

The country’s insurgency, which came from neighbouring Mali, began in the north but has since spread to the east.

Since 2015, more than 500 people have died in attacks that have become increasingly violent especially in the north and the east, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

Burkina’s capital Ouagadougou has been attacked three times, including a March 2018 extremist assault on the military headquarters in the city that left eight dead.

A summit of regional heads of state is due to be held in Ouagadougou on Saturday to discuss the security situation.