Interpol says several suspected terrorists have been arrested with weapons, ammunition, and contraband fuel seized in a joint operation with the United Nations across the Sahel.

It said more than 40,000 sticks of dynamite and detonator cords used for illegal gold mining – were also taken.

Interpol said illegal gold mining is a new source of funding for armed groups in the region, as well as a recruitment ground.

The week-long operation targeted airports, seaports, and land borders in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, and Niger.