Dozens die in weekend jihadist attacks in northern Burkina Faso

By Michael Fitzpatrick - RFI
Burkina Faso  REUTERSLuc Gnago
JUL 4, 2022 LISTEN
© REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Suspected jihadists killed at least 27 people in two separate attacks on villages in northern Burkina Faso at the weekend, according to local sources,.

At least 15 people, some of them children, were killed late on Sunday at Bourasso in Kossi province, in the northwest of the country.

One inhabitant put the number of fatalities at around 20.

"Armed men moved around the village at around 5:00 pm, firing in the air. They came back at night and blindly opened fire on people," the source said.

Twelve people died in a separate attack on Saturday at Namissiguima in Yatenga province, another security source said.

Three of the dead were members of a civilian militia, the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland, an auxiliary force set up in December 2019 to support the army.

Poor victims of jihadist insurgency

Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

The campaign, led mainly by groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, has claimed thousands of lives and forced some 1.9 million people to flee their homes.

More than 40 percent of the country lies outside the control of the government, according to official figures.

Burkina Faso suffered a coup in January, when disgruntled colonels ousted elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The new man at the helm, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, declared civilian security to be his top priority but, after a relative lull, attacks have resumed, with the loss of hundreds of lives.

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