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Burkina Faso suffers deadly attacks by terrorists claiming 44 lives

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It was reported that 44 civilians were killed by “armed terrorist groups” in two villages in northeastern Burkina Faso near the Niger border, a regional governor said Saturday.

The governor of the Sahel region, Rodolphe Surgo, said that the provisional outcome of “this despicable and barbaric attack” that targeted the villages of Kourakou and Tondoubi in northeastern Burkina Faso on Thursday night “44 civilians were killed and others injured.”

Surgo said 31 people died in Curaçao and 13 in Tondobe.

The regional official said an army offensive “stopped the armed terrorist groups that carried out the killings”.

The governor also stressed that “measures are underway to achieve stability in the region.”

The impoverished Sahel nation is grappling with a seven-year campaign waged by terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

A resident of Korkou told AFP that “a large number of terrorists stormed the village” late Thursday evening.

“We heard gunshots all night. On Friday morning we saw dozens of dead people,” he added.

Local residents said the village was targeted in retaliation for the killing of two terrorists a few days earlier who had tried to steal cattle.

It was one of the deadliest attacks since Captain Ibrahim Traore took power in a coup last September.

In February, 51 soldiers were killed in an attack on Diu, in the far north of the country.

The latest twin attacks took place near the village of Sittinga, where 86 civilians were killed last June, in one of the deadliest attacks in the long-running insurgency.

Burkina Faso’s new military chief pledged this week to intensify a “dynamic offensive” against terrorists, following a series of rebel attacks since the start of the year.

“The dynamic offensive under way in the past few weeks will be escalated to force the armed groups to lay down their arms,” ​​said Colonel Célestin Sempeur after a handover ceremony following his appointment last week.

Since terrorists launched their campaign from neighboring Mali in 2015, more than 10,000 civilians, soldiers and police have been killed, one NGO estimates, and at least two million people have been displaced.

Official figures say that terrorists actually control about 40% of the country.

Frustration within the military led to two military coups last year. Traoré, who took power in September, has vowed to fight back and take back occupied lands.

However, the terrorists carried out a series of raids and ambushes since the beginning of the year, causing heavy losses in the lives of civilians and military convoys.

The beleaguered Burkinabé army has recently acquired foreign-made drones, and regularly releases video footage of strikes against alleged terrorists and forces described as reconquering and securing lost territory.

Since Traoré seized power last year, the activities of all political parties and civil society organizations in the country have been suspended.

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