At least 50 killed in Burkina Faso rebel attack: Government
According to a government spokesperson, at least 50 people were killed in an assault by armed men on
a community in northern Burkina Faso.
Between Saturday and Sunday, the assailants attacked in Seytenga commune, Seno province, which is located in borders where al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) forces are engaged in an armed struggle.
After the community of Seytenga was assaulted overnight Saturday, spokesperson Lionel Bilgo claimed on Monday that “the army has so far uncovered 50 dead,” adding that the death toll “may climb.”
The mortality toll was reported in a variety of ways.
On Monday, a security official told the Reuters news agency that at least 100 people had perished, while a local
source who did not want to be identified said 165 people had died.
The United Nations denounced the incident, saying it “claimed many lives” and urging authorities to apprehend
The European Union criticized the tragedy as well, asking for “light to be cast on the circumstances of this murder.”
“The terrorist cell that carried out the assault chose a horrific technique, namely the methodical killing of anybody they found in the hamlet,” EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell said in a statement on Monday.
Last week, bloodshed erupted in Seytenga between rebels and government soldiers.
On Thursday, eleven police officers were slain, sparking a military operation that resulted in the deaths of roughly 40 rebel militants, according to the army.
“Retaliation for the army’s activities” triggered the killings, according to government spokesperson Bilgo.
“The nation has been damaged, but the army is doing its duty,” says the general.
Humanitarian organizations in the area said that 3,000 people had fled the community and were being
accommodated in other towns.
The incident is one of the worst since a military coup in January, when colonels in the national army removed the country’s elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, after authorities failed to combat armed groups.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the country’s new strongman, quickly pledged to make security a top priority.
Following a brief respite following the coup, assaults have resumed, resulting in hundreds of civilian and military
fatalities over the last three months.
The attacks have mostly targeted the country’s north and east.
Since 2015, the landlocked Sahel state has been engulfed in an armed insurgency that has claimed over 2,000 lives and driven 1.9 million people to evacuate their homes in Burkina Faso.