OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — The commander general of Burkina Faso's army says five gendarmes are dead and three wounded after jihadists retaliated against counterterror operations that killed 146 of their fighters earlier this week.

Commander Gen. Moise Minoungou also said late Tuesday that armed forces killed 21 jihadists after they attacked a military base in Oursi.

Minoungou encouraged the population to continue collaborating with security forces against the growing jihadist presence in the West African nation.

Islamic extremists in recent months have increased attacks in Burkina Faso's volatile Sahel region, which is now under a state of emergency.

Burkina Faso is part of a regional counterterror force, the G5 Sahel, launched in 2017. Other members are Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

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