BURKINA FASO: Burkina Faso’s provincial governor reported on Saturday that “armed terrorist groups” had murdered forty-four citizens in two villages in northeastern Burkina Faso, close to the Niger border. The preliminary death toll from the attack is 44 civilians, with 31 fatalities in Kourakou and 13 in Tondobi.
An army offensive has put out the armed terrorist groups that committed the atrocities in Kourakou, Mali, and actions to stabilise the area are underway. Armed jihadists with ties to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have been waging a seven-year battle against the poor Sahel nation. A villager told me that “a large number of terrorists burst into the village” late on Thursday, leaving several dozen dead on Friday morning.
Locals said that the village was attacked because of the recent lynching of two jihadists, which was one of the worst attacks since Captain Ibrahim Traoré took control in September last year. A February raid on Deou resulted in the deaths of 51 soldiers and 86 civilians in Seytenga last June.
Colonel Célestin Simporé, the new head of the military in Burkina Faso, has promised to step up a “dynamic offensive” against jihadists to force them to drop their weapons.
Since 2015, jihadists in Mali have killed 10,000 civilians, soldiers, and police. This has forced 2 million people to leave their homes. Last year, there were two military coups, and the new president, Traoré, promised to fight back and take back lost territory. But jihadists have killed civilians and people in convoys in a number of attacks and ambushes.
Burkina Faso’s army has acquired foreign-made drones and regularly releases video evidence of strikes against terrorists, while political parties and civil society organisations have been halted since Traoré took office.
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