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Burkina Faso Troops Fire Shots for 3rd Day in Bobo Dioulasso

Soldiers in Burkina Faso’s second-biggest city, Bobo Dioulasso, fired shots in the air during a third day of unrest as shopkeepers protested the troops’ looting of their stores.

The firing started overnight at a military base in the city and continued today, said resident Karim Cisse in a phone interview. A 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew was issued for the city, according to a statement read on state-owned television.

The conflict in Bobo Dioulasso comes amid a series of army protests over delayed pay and allowances, including a mutiny in the evening of April 14 that forced President Blaise Compaore to flee the capital until the next morning.

Shopkeepers in the city, which is 360 kilometers (223 miles) from Ouagadougou, the capital, demonstrated against the soldiers who they said looted their businesses.

The merchants are “dissatisfied because yesterday the soldiers went out again and still plundered,” said Bruno Dondasse, president of the city’s young storekeepers’ association, by phone today.

Burkina Faso is Africa’s biggest cotton producer and one of the continent’s poorest countries, with gross domestic product per capita of $517, about half the average rate for the continent, according to the World Bank.

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