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Burkina Faso: 10 police officers killed in ambush | Burkina Faso News

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Ten police officers were killed and three wounded in an ambush in northwestern Burkina Faso on Thursday, the west African country’s security ministry said.

“The toll is 10 officers who have lost their lives and three wounded,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that a police convoy from the Toeni region and reinforcements from the Dedougou area had been ambushed.

Security minister Clement Sawadogo confirmed the toll on national television, announcing an increase in police and army forces patrolling the area. 






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The officers were attacked while heading to the village of Loroni, near the border with Mali, after a school had been attacked and textbooks torched by armed assailants, a security source told AFP news agency.  

The wounded, including two in serious condition, were taken to a hospital in Dedougou, the source added.  

“A convoy of defence and security forces who were scrambled from Tougan to come to the scene of the tragedy… also hit an explosive device that ripped through the lead vehicle but fortunately did not kill anybody,” Sawadogo said, adding that three of the four officers in the vehicle were wounded.    

“This is an area that has recently been the target of a number of attacks. Arrangements have been made for regular patrols but we are working to strengthen the security system on all the sensitive axes of the zone,” he said.  

Burkina Faso has been increasingly hit by deadly attacks over the last three years.    

They began in the north of the country but have since spread to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.  

On Wednesday, a police officer died during an attack on his station in the northern town of Solan.    

Most attacks are attributed to the armed group Ansarul Islam, which emerged near the Mali border in December 2016, and to the JNIM (the Group to Support Islam and Muslims), which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Those groups are believed to be responsible for more than 255 deaths since 2015.

The capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times and almost 60 people have died there.

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Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

For Masuma, the decision to keep her daughter home was complex: extended family members are immunocompromised and she worried the in-person learning environment would be unpleasant because of precautions. She also felt her daughter might benefit from being supported at home.

“She doesn’t necessarily enjoy school. I also found out during the pandemic that she was being bullied [last year],” said Masuma. “So I thought, why not try from home?”

To help her daughter socialize face-to-face with other kids, Masuma enrolled Hana in Baxter Forest School, an alternative education program where kids spend most of their time outside, one day a week. Hana also attends virtual Arabic classes two days a week after school. 

Masuma’s husband and Hana share the living room work space, and Masuma admits he does the lion’s share of helping their daughter stay on task. There is a possibility that he’ll be required to return to his office in the new year.

“When he goes back to work … it’s probably going to be a little bit more difficult.”

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No school closures after Christmas holiday break, says Ontario education minister

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Ontario elementary and secondary schools will not close for an extended winter break, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Closures aren’t needed given Ontario’s “strong safety protocols, low levels of (COVID-19) transmission and safety within our schools,” Lecce announced Wednesday afternoon. He said he had consulted with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and the province’s public health measures advisory table.

That ended speculation about school buildings remaining closed in January for a period of time after the Christmas break.

Earlier in the week, Lecce told reporters the government was considering having students spend “some period out of class” in January, perhaps switching to online learning.

In a statement, Lecce said that even though rates of community transmission of COVID-19 are increasing, “schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms.”

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Windy start to the week in Ottawa

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OTTAWA — It’s a blustery Monday in the capital with wind gusts of up to 50 km/hour expected throughout the day.

Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 4 C with a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries before the wind dies down later this evening.

There’s a chance of flurries on Tuesday as well with a high of -1 C. The overnight low will dip to an unseasonal -9 C.  

Wednesday’s high will be just -5 C with lots of sunshine.

Seasonal temperatures return for the rest of the week..

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