Over two dozen killed in assault on Burkina Faso church
Iran Press TV
Monday, 17 February 2020 11:21 AM
Gunmen have killed 24 people and wounded 18 in an assault on a village church in northern Burkina Faso, officials say.
The regional governor said on Monday that the local pastor was targeted in the attack.
A group of "armed terrorists" burst into the village of Pansi, in Yagha, a volatile province near the Niger border," and "attacked the peaceful local population after having identified them and separated them from non-residents," Colonel Salfo Kabore said in a statement.
Burkina Faso has been beset by a rise in terrorists attacks as Takfiri militant groups with links to Daesh and al-Qaeda based in neighboring Mali seek to extend their influence over the porous borders of the Sahel, the arid scrubland south of the Sahara.
Roughly 55% to 60% of Burkina Faso's population is Muslim, with up to a quarter Christian. The two groups generally live in peace and frequently intermarry.
In late April, unidentified gunmen killed a pastor and five congregants at a Protestant church, also in the north, suggesting the violence was taking a religious turn.
The government had already declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali following the rise in such deadly extremist attacks.
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