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OUAGADOUGOU: One Burkina Faso soldier and five assailants were killed on Thursday in an ambush on an army patrol in the northern Soum province, security sources said, as the country grapples an Islamist militant revolt.

"A military patrol was ambushed in the town of Diomsogui.... One soldier was killed and two others wounded in the attack," a source said.

"In response, five assailants were shot dead and the rest of the armed group was routed," the source said.

A large cache of weapons was also recovered, a second source added.

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

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 militant assault on the military headquarters in the city which left eight dead.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2019