Gunmen kill six in second attack on Catholic church in Burkina Faso

Gunmen kill six in second attack on Catholic church in Burkina Faso

Gunmen kill six worshippers in second attack on Catholic church in Burkina Faso in just two weeks

  • Gunmen kill six people in an attack on a Catholic church in northern Burkina Faso
  • The second attack on a church in two weeks, five killed in similar attack April 28
  •  The mayor of Dablo town, where attack took place, informed press of the attack

Gunmen have killed six people in an attack on a Catholic church in northern Burkina Faso, west Africa, on Sunday.

The mayor of Dablo town, where the attack took place, informed Reuters of the attack on the community, the second in two weeks.  

Burkina Faso is historically known for its religious tolerance, the attack comes as jihadist groups seek to destabilise Burkina and the wider Sahel region. 

Just two weeks ago five worshippers including a priest were also killed in an apparent jihadist attack on a church in Burkina Faso. 

People ride bicycles and motorbikes around the United Nations roundabout in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which has experienced a series of attacks (file photo) 

Gunmen on motorbikes entered the church in the town of Silgadji near Djibo, the capital of Soum province, and opened fire near the end of a Sunday service. 

Following the first church attack on the region a security source told AFP: ‘Unidentified armed individuals have attacked the Protestant church in Silgadji killing four members of the congregation and the pastor. At least two other people are missing.’

Burkina Faso has seen a surge in killings blamed on jihadists.

The attacks started in the north of the country before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and other regions, notably the east of the country.

Former colonial ruler France has deployed some 4,500 troops in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad in a mission codenamed Barkhane to help local forces try to flush out jihadist groups. 

In February, a Spanish priest, Father Cesar Fernandez, was killed in a raid attributed to jihadists in Nohao in the centre of the country. 

Five people including a priest were killed in an attack on a church Burkina Faso, which has seen a surge in killings blamed on jihadists (file photo, a woman cycles in Ouahigouya)

 Violent organisations include the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. 

Burkina Faso is part of the vast Sahel region, which has turned into a hotbed of violent extremism and lawlessness since chaos engulfed Libya in 2011.

Despite international efforts to create a transnational anti-jihadist military operation, named the G5 Sahel force, the situation is getting worse.

A report submitted to the UN Security Council last year warned that security had ‘deteriorated rapidly over the last six months’ in the area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, with attacks spreading to eastern Burkina Faso. 

According to an official report in September, 229 people had been killed in Islamist attacks in Burkina Faso since 2015, and the number has increased since then. 

The growing boldness of jihadist fighters in the former French colony reflects the government’s apparent inability to protect its citizens.  

 

 

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