Two suspected attacks have killed at least 18 people, including 16 vigilantes supporting the army, in Burkina Faso, security sources said on Friday.

Thursday’s attacks in the north and northwest of the country were the latest to hit a civilian auxiliary force that supports the military in a seven-year fight against rebels.

Landlocked Burkina Faso in West Africa is one of the poorest and most volatile nations in the world.

Since 2015, it has been grappling with violence spearheaded by rebel fighters affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) groups

that have killed tens of thousands and displaced nearly two million people. The country is now the epicentre of a conflict that spilled over from Mali.

Thursday’s “first attack targeted an advance party of Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland [VDP] in Rakoegtenga”, a town in the northern province of Bam, a VDP official said.

About 10 people were wounded, including some seriously, who were “evacuated to Ouagadougou for appropriate care”, he said.