Burkina Faso: 100 civilians killed in northern region attack

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA): At least 100 people were killed when armed insurgents attacked a northern district of Burkina Faso, close to the border with Niger, over the weekend, the government confirmed on Monday.

“Terrorists attacked civilians in Seytenga commune, Sahel region … The army has so far found 50 bodies,” Lionel Bilgo, a government spokesman, told reporters.

Bilgo said the army is doing everything possible to secure the area.

The attackers targeted men but appeared to spare women and children.

The attack displaced thousands of people who are being taken care of in the town of Dori, capital of the Sahel region, he added.

Earlier, police had said that at least four police officers were killed and two others wounded when armed insurgents attacked a police detachment in Burkina Faso.

“On Sunday at around 12 noon, the detachment of the Republican Security Company of Yakouta, Seno province, Sahel region, was the target of an attack perpetrated by armed individuals,” police said in a statement.

Besides the dead and wounded, two other police officers are still missing, it said, adding that a manhunt by the defense and security forces in the locality is underway.

Burkina Faso has been battling an insurgency that has spread from neighboring Mali over the past decade.

Earlier last week, 11 gendarmerie officers were killed in an attack on the Seytenga Territorial Gendarmerie Brigade in the same Sahel region.

More than 3,173 people, including 2,173 children, had been displaced as of last Sunday due to recent armed attacks in Seytenga and Titabe communes, according to the Directorate of Humanitarian Action, a local NGO based in the northeastern town of Dori.

Last week, the government stated that an assessment was still being undertaken to determine the number of displaced people.

[Map of Burkina Faso from United States Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook/Creative Commons]

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