OUAGADOUGOU: Suspected jihadists killed at least 34 in attacks on northern villages Burkina Faso over the weekend, officials and sources said Monday.
In the northwest of the country, 22 people, including children, were killed on Sunday evening in Bourasso in the province of Kossi, said the regional governor of Boucle du Mouhoun. Babo Pierre Bassinga.
“Armed men went around the village around 5 p.m., shooting in the air. They came back in the night and opened fire on people indiscriminately,” said a security source.
In northern Burkina Faso, 12 people died on Saturday in an attack in Namissiguima in Yatenga province, another security source said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Three of the dead were members of a civilian militia, the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP) — an auxiliary force set up in December 2019 to support the army.
Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, is grappling with a jihadist insurgency that swept from neighboring Mali in 2015.
The campaign, carried out 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% of the country is outside government control, according to official figures.
Burkina Faso suffered a coup in January, when disgruntled colonels overthrew the elected president Roch-Marc Christian Kabore.
The new strongman, Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, said security was his top priority but after a relative lull attacks resumed, killing hundreds.