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OUAGADOUGOU: One person died and two were wounded early Tuesday  during the first attack by suspected militant on  Ouahigouya, the biggest city in Burkina Faso's north, security sources said.

"A group of terrorists on motorcycles attacked a toll booth outside Ouahigouya on the road to Ouagadougou (the Burkina capital) around 3:00 am," one source said.

"One of the booth operators was killed and the other wounded. A police officer who was on guard duty at the toll booth was also wounded," the source added.

It was the first attack to be reported against the country's third largest city and the north's nerve centre, though cities 30-40 kilometres (20-25 miles) to the south have already been hit.

"The prosecutor has opened an investigation after carrying out the usual verifications," a police officer said.

Burkina Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a number of jihadist groups, including the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

The raids began in 2015 in the north before targeting Ouagadougou and other regions, notably in the east.

About 360 people have been killed since 2015 -- mainly in hit-and-run raids -- according to an AFP tally.

In late April, gunmen killed four worshippers and a pastor in the first jihadist attack on a church, in small town of Silgadji, northeast of Ouahigouya.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2019

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