At least 138 civilians were killed in two attacks in the north Burkina Faso, Security sources and locals said that the bloodiest incidents recorded in the country since the beginning of the Islamic extremist violence in 2015 took place on Friday (4) night and this Saturday (5) at dawn.
These attacks, known as the “Three Borders” – between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – have been the target of deadly attacks by al-Qaeda and Islamic State-linked militants against civilians and soldiers.
“On Friday and Saturday night, armed men carried out a deadly incursion into Solhan in Yaga province,” security sources told AFP.
“Several people were injured and new bodies were found. The rest were temporary but 138 people died,” a local deputy leader said Saturday afternoon, noting that “the bodies were buried in mass graves.” There will also be dozens of injured.
In a statement, his spokesman said on Saturday that he was “outraged” by the assassination of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
“The secretary general is outraged that more than 100 civilians, including seven children, were killed today in an attack by unidentified assailants on a village in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso,” said Stephen Dujarric.
According to a local source, the attack, which began at 2:00 a.m. (23:00 a.m. Brasilia time on Friday), first targeted the post of volunteers for homeland security, the VDP, the military for civilian support, and “then the occupiers went to the homes of the hanged residents”.
“Apart from the large number of people, the worst we have ever recorded, houses and markets (in Solhan) were set on fire,” another security source reported, adding that “equilibrium, more temporary, will increase”.
The government says 72 hours of national mourning has been ordered by authorities from 12:00 a.m. Saturday until 23:59 a.m. Monday, June 7.
The small town of Sohlan, about fifteen kilometers from Seba, the capital of Yaga province, not far from the Mali border, has seen several attacks in recent years.
On May 14, Defense Minister Sheriff Psy and members of the military ranks visited Seba and assured that the situation had returned to normal after several military operations.
This latest bloody attack, allegedly by Islamic extremists, killed at least 14 people, including a VDP member, in a village in Tadariyat in the same region on Friday night.
The attacks come a week after two acts of violence in the same area, in which four people, including two VDP members, were killed.
On May 17 and 18, fifteen residents and a soldier were killed in two attacks on a village and patrol in the northeast of the country, the regional governor said.
Since May 5, the armed forces have launched a full-scale operation in the northern and Sahel regions in the face of increasing Islamic terrorist violence.
This Saturday, rows of people fled to Seba, a local deputy said on condition of anonymity.
“These displacements also caused casualties because three people died on the Solhan-Seba axis when a cart carrying them exploded while an artisan was passing through the mine.”
Despite announcing numerous measures of this kind, the security forces have been struggling to control the cycle of violence, which has killed more than 1,400 people since 2015 and left more than a million homeless.