More than 100 People Killed in Attack in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Armed assailants killed round 100 civilians in an in a single day assault on a village in northern Burkina Faso, the federal government mentioned on Saturday, in one of many deadliest assaults in the Western African nation in years.

The attackers struck throughout the night time on Friday, killing residents of a village in the northeastern a part of the nation, close to the border with Niger. They additionally burned houses and the village market, the federal government mentioned in a press release.

Burkina Faso and its neighbors in the Sahel area have confronted a resurgence of extremist violence in current years, a lot of them led by jihadists linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Since France started a army intervention in 2013 to counter jihadist violence in Mali, many member of the remaining teams, together with associates of Al Qaeda, moved south close to the border with Burkina Faso.

The first assaults claimed by a jihadist group struck Burkina Faso in 2015, and the nation, as soon as some of the steady nations in West Africa, has since been engulfed in a spiral of violence, going through a whole lot of comparable assaults, some carried out by jihadist teams and others by native rebels.

They have stormed many villages, particularly in the area generally known as Liptako-Gourma, a border space between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, the place the assault on Friday came about.

But troopers have additionally killed a rising variety of civilians, additional stoking the resentment of native populations.

The authorities described the attackers in Friday’s violence as terrorists, however no group has but claimed duty.

Rida Lyammouri, an professional on the Sahel who is predicated in Washington, mentioned a gaggle of gunmen believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara had initially attacked an artisanal gold mine in the world, earlier than they went after civilians.

“They burned cars, houses, a local market, and have planted improvised explosive devices,” mentioned Mr. Lyammouri, a senior fellow on the Policy Center for the New South, a Morocco-based suppose tank.

Mr. Lyammouri added that the demise toll was doubtless greater than officers had estimated. “It’s definitely one of the deadliest attacks in Burkina Faso in years,” he mentioned.

Roch Kabore, Burkina Faso’s president, declared a 72-hour interval of nationwide mourning after the assault. It mentioned the provisional toll put the variety of folks killed at round 100.

The deteriorating safety scenario has fueled one of many fastest-growing displacement crises in the world, with extra than 1.2 million folks pressured to flee their houses in Burkina Faso, in response to the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs physique. The nation can be internet hosting some 20,000 refugees from neighboring Mali who’re looking for security from jihadist assaults.

In March, attackers killed 137 folks in coordinated raids on villages in southwestern Niger.

Several foreigners have additionally been taken hostage or killed in current years. In 2019, two French troopers have been killed in a raid to rescue 4 hostages — two Frenchmen, an American and a South Korean citizen. In April, two Spanish journalists and an Irish ranger have been additionally killed in an ambush in southeastern Burkina Faso, close to the border with Benin.

Elian Peltier contributed reporting.