More than 100 civilians killed following attacks in Burkina Faso
Suspected jihadists have massacred at least 114 civilians in Burkina Faso’s volatile north in the deadliest attacks since Islamist violence erupted in the west African country in 2015, officials said Saturday. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore denounced an attack near the borders with Mali and Niger where jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State have been targeting civilians and soldiers.
“We must remain united and solid against these obscurantist forces,” Kabore said, condemning a massacre that left at least 100 people dead in Solhan as “barbaric” and “despicable.” The worst attack occurred during the night of Friday to Saturday when “armed individuals staged an incursion” into Solhan, a security source said.
Assailants struck around 2am local time, against a position of the Volunteers for the Defence of the Motherland (VDP), an anti-jihadist civilian defence force which backs the national army, before attacking homes and carrying out “executions,” a local source said. The government said in a statement that “terrorists,” a term for jihadists, killed civilians of all ages and set fire to homes and the main market.
Solhan, a small community around 15 kilometres from Sebba, the main city in Yagha province, has been hit with numerous attacks in recent years. In another attack on Friday night, 14 people were reported to have been killed in the village of Tadaryat, about 150km (93 miles) to the north of Solhan. Last month, 30 people died in an attack in the east of Burkina Faso. The country is facing a deepening security crisis, like many of its neighbours, as armed groups carry out raids and kidnappings across much of the region.