dozens dead in mosque attack

dozens dead in mosque attack

Several dozen Muslim worshipers were killed on Sunday in a “major attack” against a mosque in Natiaboani, in eastern Burkina Faso, we learned on Monday February 26. A killing which occurs the same day as another deadly attack against Catholics gathered in a church, announced on Sunday.

“Armed individuals attacked a mosque in Natiaboani on Sunday around 5:00 a.m. (local and GMT), leaving several dozen dead”declared a security source. “The victims are all Muslims, mainly men who had gathered at the mosque” to pray, said a local resident interviewed by telephone.

Another local source explained that “The terrorists entered the city in the early morning. They surrounded the mosque and fired on the faithful who were there for the first prayer of the day, several of them were shot dead, including an important religious leader..

Growing insecurity

“The elements of the military detachment and the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP, civilian auxiliaries of the army) were also targeted by these hordes who came in large numbers”indicated the same source, referring to a “large-scale attack considering the number of attackers who also caused significant material damage”.

Natiaboani is a rural commune located about sixty kilometers south of Fada N’Gourma, capital of the Eastern region, regularly targeted by attacks by armed groups since 2018. Mosques and imams have already been target of attacks attributed to jihadists.

These attacks have also sometimes targeted churches in this country, where kidnappings of Christian clergy have also increased.

The same day as the attack on the mosque, at least fifteen worshipers were killed and two injured by suspected jihadists during mass in a Catholic church in northern Burkina, according to the vicar general of the diocese of Dori, the Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo.

Terrorists “neutralized”

Several other attacks also took place on Sunday, notably against the military detachment of Tankoualou (East), against the 16th Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) near Kongoussi (North) and the mixed battalion in the Ouahigouya area (North).

“The response of the elements to these different attacks, supported by air vectors”allowed to “neutralize several hundred terrorists”according to security sources.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been confronted with jihadist violence attributed to armed movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization (Daesh), which has left nearly 20,000 dead and more than two million displaced.

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