Suspected jihadists killed dozens of people in an attack Monday in eastern Burkina Faso, local and security sources said, in what would be one of the worst such attacks in the country’s history.
“A large number of gunmen attacked the village of Kodyel in the Foutouri district this morning, killing dozens of civilians,” a regional security source told AFP.
An official from a local self-defense group confirmed the attack and said that at least 20-30 people had been killed.
“It happened early in the morning when some people were still at home. Dozens of men broke into the village and set fire to houses, while others stood guard and shot at people indiscriminately.”
Another member of the VDP’s civil defense community in the Foutouri district also estimated “about 30 dead, men and women” – although “the charge remains provisional, as everyone fled the village”.
In addition to the dead, “about 20 people were injured, several of them seriously”, the other volunteer added, complaining that their reports of militants in the area and threats against the villagers had been ignored.
But the security source said that “measures to secure the population and track these individuals were initiated as soon as the volunteers alerted”.
Estimates of the death toll would make Monday’s attack one of the deadliest ever in Burkina Faso.
It comes just a week after three Europeans – two Spanish journalists and an Irish nature activist – were killed in an ambush against an anti-poaching patrol.
A poor country in West Africa, Burkina Faso, like its neighbors Mali and Niger, has been hit by jihadist attacks since 2015.