National flag lowered to half-mast at the parliament, presidency and government offices in capital Ouagadougou following Wednesday’s deadly raid in Burkina’s Sahel region that killed 65 civilians and 15 gendarmes.
The impoverished Sahel state of Burkina Faso was plunged once more into mourning as the toll of people killed by suspected militants on Wednesday before climbed from 49 to 80, including 65 civilians.
The national flag was lowered to half-mast for three days of mourning at the parliament on Friday, presidency and government offices in the capital Ouagadougou, a journalist saw, while the heavy casualties raised fresh doubts about the country's armed forces.
Several television and radio channels changed their programming, mostly broadcasting songs paying tribute to the defence and security forces.
Newspapers and online media placed a black edging of mourning around their front pages, although some raised pointed questions over the country's security crisis.
"Over the past five years, the days have come and gone but look the same to the Burkinabe public," said the online outlet Wakatsera.
"The flags are raised and then almost immediately dropped to half-mast to mourn new dead, civilians and/or troops, in attacks by armed individuals who are usually never identified," it said.
"This time, the mourning will last 72 hours. What about tomorrow?"
READ MORE: Dozens killed in suspected militant attack in Burkina Faso
The landlocked country has been battered for the past six years by militant attacks from neighbouring Mali – the epicentre of a brutal insurgency that began in 2012 and has also hit Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died in the three countries, while according to UN figures, more than two million people have fled their homes.
In Burkina Faso itself, the toll stands at more than 1,500 dead and 1.3 million displaced.
In Wednesday's attack, 65 civilians and 15 gendarmes were killed near the town of Gorgadji in Burkina's Sahel region, communications minister and government spokesman Ousseni Tamboura said late on Thursday.
The location is in the so-called three-border area, where the frontiers of the three countries converge – and gunmen linked to Al Qaeda and the so-called Daesh roam.
The security forces killed 58 "terrorists" and the rest fled, according to the government, which on Thursday offered its "congratulations to the defence and security forces" for the action.
READ MORE: Dozens killed in attacks in Burkina Faso