Five Christian Men Among 35 People Killed in Recent Attacks in Burkina Faso

A church in Burkina Faso. The recent kidnappings of two Christian church leaders has created an atmosphere of anxiety among Christian communities in the northeastern part of the country. | (Photo: Khym54 via Flickr)

At least five Christian men and 30 others were reportedly killed during a spate of recent attacks in northern Burkina Faso, a region plagued by Islamic extremist violence in recent years.

A source told the interdenominational aid charity Barnabus Fund, an England-based nonprofit assisting the persecuted Church worldwide, that a total of 35 people were killed late last month during a series of attacks in the Bam Province.

However, it is unclear as to who is responsible.

The unnamed source said that attacks began on Sept. 21 when assaults on three villages resulted in the murders of nine people.

Two days later, nine more were allegedly killed — including the five Christian men from the same family — in attacks on the Bourzanga district’s Pissele and Boulkiba villages.

Then again on Sept. 28, 10 people were said to have been killed in the village of Komsilga. The death count in Komsilga includes a person who was kidnapped and later found dead.

Later in the evening of Sept. 28, seven more were reportedly killed during attacks on the villages of Deneon, Singa and Norde.

Although Burkina Faso had been known for years as a relatively peaceful country, a rise in violent attacks carried out by Islamic extremist factions in Burkina Faso has taken place since 2016.

According to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, there were 137 violent events that occurred in Burkina Faso in 2018 leading to 149 fatalities. But by mid-2019 those numbers had already been exceeded as the center recorded at least 191 episodes of violence and 324 fatalities by the end of July.

Three terrorist groups have been most active in Northern Burkina Faso. Those include the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, the Macina Liberation Front, and Ansaroul Islam.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith