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Armed assailants kill at least a hundred in a night raid in a northern Burkina Faso village

Armed assailants killed about 100 civilians in an overnight attack on a village in northern Burkina Faso, in what was the country’s deadliest attack in years.

Violence in Burkina Faso has displaced more than a million people in just over two years.(Reuters: Zohra Bensemra)
Violence in Burkina Faso has displaced more than a million people in just over two years.(Reuters: Zohra Bensemra)

The attackers struck during the night on Friday, killing residents of the village of Solhan in Yagha province bordering Niger.

They also burned homes and the market, the government said in a statement.

The government described the attackers as terrorists but no group claimed responsibility.

It declared a 72-hour period of national mourning and said the provisional toll put the number of people killed at about 100.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore called the attack “barbaric.”

A local, who did not want to be named, fearing for his safety, was visiting relatives at a medical clinic in Sebba town, approximately 12 kilometres from where the attacks occurred.

He said he saw many wounded people enter the clinic.

“I saw 12 people in one room and about 10 in another. There were many relatives caring for the wounded,” he said.

“There were also many people running from Solhan to enter Sebba … people are very afraid and worried.”

Attacks by jihadists linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State in West Africa’s Sahel region have risen sharply since the start of the year, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, with civilians bearing the brunt.

In one week in April, more than 50 people were killed in Burkina Faso, including two Spanish journalists and an Irish conservationist.

The violence in Burkina Faso has displaced more than 1.14 million people in just over two years, while the poor arid country is also hosting some 20,000 refugees from neighbouring Mali who are seeking safety from jihadist attacks. Reuters/AP

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