The violence between Islamic jihadists and the government in Burkina Faso, especially in the area around the border with Mali, is reaching critical levels.

Since April at least 275,000 people have been displaced due to the violence. Several humanitarian organizations estimate that about 13,000 people a week are displaced. Overall, an estimated 1.4 million people are internally displaced in Burkina Faso. 

Worse still, critical food shortages are plaguing an already susceptible population. According to a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council, an estimated 4.8 million people are food insecure and 2.9 million people live in acute food insecurity.

According to the national news agency Agence d’Information du Burkina (AIB), on Sunday five police officers were killed during an early morning attack by unidentified armed men on a police station in Sourou province in northwestern Burkina Faso’s Boucle du Mouhoun region.

The attackers hit the police station between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. local time. A vehicle and eight motorcycles were taken away by the attackers, said the AIB. The Burkinabe security ministry claimed that 15 terrorists were neutralized.

Ansarul Islam, the group behind much of the violence is often portrayed as tied to jihadists elsewhere in the Sahel. It is based in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region and has played on social injustice in its message. 

Founded by Malam Ibrahim Dicko, Ansarul Islam, preached equality among the classes. Dicko called out many of the religious leaders who made themselves rich and fat at the people’s expense. This drew him a huge audience of the region’s young people. 

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the Burkinabe government has little infrastructure and influence far from the capital. This led to a feeling of abandonment, especially by the young who see the government as outsiders trying to get rich while providing little to the people who require the most help.