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Several People Killed In A Catholic Church And Mosque In Burkina Faso

Several people killed in a Catholic church and mosque in Burkina Faso as authorities report that dozens were fatally shot at the mosque and at least fifteen people died at the church.

Bernard Horne
Feb 28, 2024293 Shares8883 Views
Several people killed in a Catholic churchand mosque in Burkina Fasoas authorities report that dozens were fatally shot at the mosque and at least fifteen people died at the church. The attack occurred during early-morning prayers on Sundaywhen gunmen encircled the mosque in Natiaboani town.
"The victims were all Muslims, most of them men," a resident told reporters.
More than a third of Burkina Faso is presently under insurgents' control. According to reports, the assailants were Islamist militants who also targeted soldiers and a local self-defense militia on the same day. Local media, in French, depict a significant incursion by hundreds of insurgents armed with machine guns on motorcycles.
Al-Qaeda's Sahel branch claimed to have captured an army barracks in Natiaboani, but there's no independent confirmation of this. Notably, there was no mention of an attack on a mosque.
Unverified reports circulating on social media suggest that the death toll from the mosque assault could be considerably higher than the figure provided by officials. Natiaboani is situated in Burkina Faso's troubled eastern region, where numerous armed groups are active.
On that same day, at least 15 worshippers lost their lives in an assault on a Catholic churchduring Sunday mass in Essakane, located in the northeast. A churchofficial attributed the attack to suspected Islamist militants.
The violence in Essakane village constituted a "terrorist attack," resulting in the deaths of 12 Catholic worshippers at the scene, as stated by Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo, the vicar-general of the Catholic Diocese of Dori, where the incident occurred. Additionally, three individuals succumbed to their injuries later while receiving medical treatment.
In this painful circumstance, we invite you to pray for the rest in Godfor those who have died in faith, for the healing of the wounded and … for the conversion of those who continue to sow death and desolation in our country.- Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo
While no formal connection has been established between the two incidents, Burkina Faso's privately owned newspaper, L'Observateur Paalga, has raised questions about whether they were part of a coordinated scheme.
Attacks targeting religious figures are unfortunately not uncommon in Burkina Faso. A priest who was abducted from the northern town of Djibo five years ago remains missing. Additionally, in 2021, armed men kidnapped and later killed the main imam of Djibo.
Humanitarian workers highlight Burkina Faso as one of the world's most overlooked crises. Years of widespread insecurity have displaced over two million people from their homes. The UN estimates that a quarter of childrenunder five suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. Despite the military seizing power two years ago with promises to quell insurgent activities, violence persists in the region.
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