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Burkina Faso Witnessed Two Attacks by Armed Groups Resulting in the Death of 44 Civilians


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A regional governor said Saturday that armed terrorist groups killed 44 civilians in northern Burkina Faso in attacks targeting two villages.

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

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 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.

The impoverished Sahel nation is grappling with a seven-year campaign by extremists linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State terrorist group.

Burkina Faso’s new military commander on Thursday pledged to mount a “dynamic offensive” against extremists, following a series of rebel attacks since the start of the year.

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

On Saturday Surgo called on local residents to join the Front for Defense of the Fatherland (FDS), a pro-junta movement, and to join the volunteer militia of the VDP.

Since extremists 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.

Burkina Faso witnessed two coups last year. Since junta leader Brahim Traoré seized power in September, the activities of all political parties and civil society organizations in the country have been suspended.

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