OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Armed assailants killed round 100 civilians in an in a single day assault on a village in northern Burkina Faso, the federal government stated on Saturday, in one of many deadliest assaults within the Western African nation in years.
The attackers struck throughout the evening on Friday, killing residents of a village within the northeastern a part of the nation, close to the border with Niger. In addition they burned properties and the village market, the federal government stated in an announcement.
Burkina Faso and its neighbors within the Sahel area have confronted a resurgence of extremist violence in current yrs, a lot of them led by jihadists linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Since France started a navy intervention in 2013 to counter jihadist violence in Mali, many member of the remaining teams, together with associates of Al Qaeda, moved south close to the border with Burkina Faso.
The primary assaults claimed by a jihadist group struck Burkina Faso in 2015, and the nation, as soon as one of the steady nations in West Africa, has since been engulfed in a spiral of violence, dealing with a whole lot of comparable assaults, some carried out by jihadist teams and others by native rebels.
They’ve stormed many villages, particularly within the area often known as Liptako-Gourma, a border space between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, the place the assault on Friday befell.
However troopers have additionally killed a rising variety of civilians, additional stoking the resentment of native populations.
The federal government described the attackers in Friday’s violence as terrorists, however no group has but claimed accountability.
Rida Lyammouri, an skilled on the Sahel who is predicated in Washington, stated a bunch of gunmen believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State within the Higher Sahara had initially attacked an artisanal gold mine within the space, earlier than they went after civilians.
“They burned automobiles, homes, a neighborhood market, and have planted improvised explosive units,” stated Mr. Lyammouri, a senior fellow on the Coverage Heart for the New South, a Morocco-based suppose tank.
Mr. Lyammouri added that the loss of life toll was possible increased than officers had estimated. “It’s undoubtedly one of many deadliest assaults in Burkina Faso in years,” he stated.
Roch Kabore, Burkina Faso’s president, declared a 72-hour interval of nationwide mourning after the assault. It stated the provisional toll put the variety of folks killed at round 100.
The deteriorating safety state of affairs has fueled one of many fastest-growing displacement crises on the planet, with greater than 1.2 million folks compelled to flee their properties in Burkina Faso, based on the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs physique. The nation can be internet hosting some 20,000 refugees from neighboring Mali who’re looking for security from jihadist assaults.
In March, attackers killed 137 folks in coordinated raids on villages in southwestern Niger.
A number of foreigners have additionally been taken hostage or killed in recent times. In 2019, two French troopers have been killed in a raid to rescue 4 hostages — two Frenchmen, an American and a South Korean citizen. In April, two Spanish journalists and an Irish ranger have been additionally killed in an ambush in southeastern Burkina Faso, close to the border with Benin.
Elian Peltier contributed reporting.