At least 27 people were killed over the weekend in Burkina Faso in two separate attacks by suspected jihadists targeting civilians in the north and northwest of the country, security and local sources told AFP.
On the night of Sunday to Monday, “armed individuals attacked civilians in Bourasso, a locality near Dédougou”, the capital of the province of Kossi, said a security source.
“The source added: “There are about 15 victims (dead), men, women, and children, according to a provisional assessment.
A local source, contacted by AFP, confirmed the attack, mentioning “about twenty dead”.
“The gunmen first went around at around 5 pm (GMT and local time) in the village firing shots in the air. They came back later in the night and opened fire indiscriminately on the people,” the resident said.
On Saturday, another deadly attack also took place in Namissiguima, in the northern province of Yatenga, according to another security source.
“The death toll from this attack was 12, including three Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP),” said the source, who also mentioned waves of population displacement since Sunday.
Burkina Faso has been caught up in a spiral of violence since 2015, attributed to armed jihadist movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which has left thousands dead and 1.9 million displaced.
More than 40% of the territory is outside the control of the state, according to official figures.
At the end of January, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba overthrew President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was accused of being unable to curb jihadist violence, and made the restoration of security his “priority”.
However, the security situation in Burkina has not improved, with the country still regularly targeted by deadly attacks.