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Burkina Faso death toll rises - 160 killed in Saturday massacre - VG

Burkina Faso death toll rises – 160 killed in Saturday massacre – VG

Country mourning: Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, here with Erna Solberg during a conference in Oslo in 2018, declared three days of national mourning after a massacre of 160 people in the north of the country. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB

Local sources told AFP that about 160 people were killed in the massacre in Burkina Faso on Saturday night. There must be 20 children among the dead.

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Thus, the death toll was further adjusted. At least 100 people were first reported killed.

A local elected official said on Sunday that a total of 160 had been buried in three mass graves and that about 20 children were among the dead. The number was confirmed by another local source.

It is believed that Islamist militants were behind the attack on the village of El Solhan in the north of the country, near the borders with Mali and Niger, but the identity of the attackers and their motives remain unclear.

The village is located in Yaga Prefecture in the Sahel region, where several different groups are active. Many of them swore allegiance to al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.

qualifiers

The attackers first attacked the local VDP positions.

Then they raided civilian homes and proceeded to purely liquidation, according to a local source. Both homes and the market in the city were set on fire.

So far, there are no statistics on the number of injured in the attack, except for the fact that there are several dozen. A local source told AFP earlier on Sunday that a number of the wounded had succumbed to their injuries.

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And the authorities in Burkina Faso declared, on Saturday, three days of national mourning. In addition to the attack on El Solhan, an attack on the city of Tadriyat was also reported on Saturday, in which 13 civilians were killed by unknown assailants, according to the country’s security service. A gunman was also killed voluntarily.

shock and anger

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is among those expressing shock and outrage at the attack, which is among the deadliest in Burkina Faso in recent years.

Guterres describes the incident as cruel, and calls on the international community to intensify its support in the fight against violent extremism.

Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore also condemned the killings.

“An abhorrent barbarian,” said the president, calling for unity.

For his part, the country’s opposition leader, Eddie Compuygo, calls for the use of all means to protect the country’s population.

– He said that the massacre of our people must stop unconditionally.

margins

Salhan is located about 15 kilometers from Sheba, and is the largest city in Yaga Prefecture. The village has witnessed several attacks in recent years.

On May 14, Defense Minister Sheriff Sy and a group of senior military leaders visited Safa to reassure residents that life had returned to normal after a series of military operations to suppress the rebels.

Burkina Faso has been under intense pressure since 2015 to respond to repeated attacks by several jihadist groups. The attacks began in the north near the border with Mali, but have since spread to other regions, particularly in the east of the country.

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About 1,400 people have been killed so far, and more than a million have been forced to flee.