Ten Civilians Killed In Attacks In Burkina Faso
Around 10 people have been killed in suspected jihadist attacks on villages in northern Burkina Faso, security sources and local officials told AFP on Thursday.
“On Wednesday evening, unidentified armed men carried out a series of attacks in the north, claiming about 10 lives,” a security source said.
A regional official with the VDP volunteer self-defence force said the attacks occurred in Burkina’s Sahel administrative region, hitting the villages of Badnoogo, Bassian, Tokabangou and Gadba near the Niger border, and the district of Pensa in the Centre North region.
Properties were set on fire during the attack, a local resident told AFP.
“Several bodies were recovered” said the member of the VDP, which fights jihadists alongside the Burkinabe defence and security forces.
One VDP member was among the victims, he added.
Burkina Faso, a landlocked and arid Sahel nation, has been battling attacks since 2015 from forces that include the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).
More than 1,500 people have died and more than 1.3 million have fled their homes.
Anger has been high since scores of people were killed in June in the village of Solhan — Burkina’s highest single-day toll in the history of the insurgency.
Armed men, including “young people aged 12 to 14,” killed at least 132 people, according to the authorities. Local sources said the toll was 160, including many children.
The government established the VDP in December 2019 to provide support for the beleaguered army.
Volunteers are given two weeks’ military training and then work alongside the security forces, typically carrying out surveillance, information-gathering or escort duties.
But losses have been extremely high. According to an AFP tally, more than 200 have died.