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Armed men kill dozens in Burkina Faso attacks

  • 5 Jul 2022

About 22 people, reportedly including children, were killed at Bourasso in Kossi province and 12 more were killed at Namissiguima in Yatenga province, officials and sources say.

Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been grappling with a militant insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015. ( AP )

Armed men have killed at least 34 people in attacks on villages in northern Burkina Faso at the weekend, officials and sources said.

In the northwest of the country, 22 people, reportedly including children, were killed between late Sunday night and early Monday morning at Bourasso in Kossi province, said regional governor Babo Pierre Bassinga in a statement on Monday. 

"Armed men moved around the village at around 5:00 pm, firing in the air. They came back at night and blindly opened fire on people," a security source said.

Military forces have been deployed to the scene and measures are in place to host those who fled to nearby cities, the statement added.

In northern Burkina Faso, 12 people died on Saturday in an attack at Namissiguima in Yatenga province, another security source said, also speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Three of the dead were members of a civilian militia, the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP) –– an auxiliary force set up in December 2019 to support the army.

READ MORE: Scores of civilians killed in Burkina Faso massacre

Hundreds killed, millions displaced

Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been grappling with a militant insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

The campaign, led mainly by groups linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh, has claimed thousands of lives and forced some 1.9 million people to flee their homes.

More than 40 percent of the country lies outside the control of the government, according to official figures.

Armed men killed at least 100 civilians in another rural district in northern Burkina Faso last month, the deadliest attack the country has seen in at least a year. 

Burkina Faso underwent a coup in January when disgruntled colonels ousted elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The new strongman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, declared security to be his top priority but after a relative lull, attacks resumed, with the loss of hundreds of lives.

READ MORE: Violence in Burkina Faso 'displaces' over 1.8M people

READ MORE: Civilian volunteers among scores killed in Burkina Faso militant attacks

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