24 Christians, Muslims Killed, Church Set on Fire in Burkina Faso Attack
Twenty-four civilians were shot dead and three others were kidnapped during an attack Sunday in Burkina Faso.
According to Christianity Today, one of those killed was a church pastor. Another 18 were also injured in the attack.
The mayor of Boundore commune said a group of about 20 attacked people in the town of Pansi in the Yagha province of Africa’s Burkina Faso. The group of “armed terrorists” entered Pansiand “attacked the peaceful local population, after having identified them and separated them from non-residents”, Col Salfo Kaboré said, according to The Christian Post.
Both Christians and Muslims were killed and a nearby Protestant church was set on fire. The gunmen also stole oil and rice from nearby stores and forced the three kidnapped youth to carry the stolen goods.
“It hurt me when I saw the people,” Mayor Sihanri Osangola Brigadie said after visiting some of the victims in the hospital in Dori town.
This isn’t the first attack in the Yagha province. Last week, gunmen killed a retired pastor and abducted another pastor.
In December, more than a dozen people were killed at an evangelical church following attacks earlier in the year and Protestant and Catholic Church gatherings. In the December attack, gunmen separated men from women and killed only men, ages 10 to 40.
“Perpetrators use victims’ links to government or their faith to justify the killings, while others appear to be reprisal killings for killings by the government security forces,” said Corinne Dufka, the West Africa director for Human Rights Watch. She added that the attacks are increasing at “an alarming rate.”
According to Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, more than 1,300 civilians were killed last year in targeted attacks in Burkina Faso.
The government also says that some 760,000 people have been displaced because of the violence.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Milenius
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.