OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Burkina Faso's government says suspected jihadis have killed at least five people in three different villages in the country's volatile north.

Residents of Sibe, Neyda and Ndidja said Tuesday that armed members of local Islamic extremist group Ansaroul Islam attacked Monday on motorbikes.

The military says it has deployed troops to secure the area.

Landlocked Burkina Faso's remote northern Sahel region bordering Niger and Mali has recently become the target of increased Islamic extremist attacks. The area is home to Islamic preacher Ibrahim Malam Dicko, whose Ansarul Islam group is now considered a terrorist group by Burkina Faso's government.

The military says it is withdrawing its battalion from Sudan to redeploy along its border with Mali to fight extremists. The first group of the soldiers arrived last week.