A Niger soldier patrols along the border in Maradi region. Picture: GILES CLARKE/GETTY IMAGES
A Niger soldier patrols along the border in Maradi region. Picture: GILES CLARKE/GETTY IMAGES

Ouagadougou  — Suspected jihadist killed about 30 people in an attack on a village in eastern Burkina Faso on Monday, four security sources said, amid rising insecurity in the region.

The attack by a large number of armed assailants took place in the village of Hantoukoura near the border with Niger in Est region, an area hit by rising insecurity as jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State seek to gain control over once peaceful territories.

In a statement, Est governor Saidou Sanou said more than 10 civilians and two members of a civilian defence militia were killed by the unidentified attackers, who also torched a number of shops and ransacked the health centre.

But the four sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the death toll stood at about 30, making it one of the deadliest attacks in Burkina Faso in the past year or more. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.

At least 20 people were injured, witnesses said.

Jihadist groups have also fuelled religious and ethnic tensions between farming and herding communities in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

In April, three Europeans  — two Spanish journalists and an Irish wildlife activist  — were killed in eastern Burkina Faso. 

On Saturday, unidentified gunmen killed 16 soldiers and wounded six others in an ambush on an army patrol  in southwest Niger, two security sources said. The attack was in the Tahoua region of the West African country, near where raids killed 137 civilians in March. No group claimed the attack.  

The worsening violence in the wider Sahel region has led to one of the world's most acute humanitarian crises, UN agencies said last week. About 29-million Sahelians are in need of aid and protection — the most ever — and 5-million more than 2020, they said.



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