Fourteen worshipers, including « children, » were killed Sunday during a religious service during the attack on a Protestant church in Hantoukoura, eastern Burkina Faso, where the actions of armed jihadist groups against the scene cults multiply.
« A Protestant church in Hantoukoura, in the Foutouri Department, bordering Niger, Komondjarie Province, has been the victim of a deadly attack perpetrated by unidentified gunmen, » the governorate of the Fada N’Gourma region said. in a statement. « This attack unfortunately caused 14 deaths and many injuries. »
This attack « reported around 12H00 » was perpetrated by a « dozen heavily armed individuals, » who « coldly executed the faithful, including the pastor of the church and children, » according to a security source.
The attackers, about twenty heavily armed, burned a vehicle and took away several motorcycles
Another security source also spoke of a death toll of « 14 dead, all male ». A « raking operation » was launched by the military group of Foutouri to find the « traces of the attackers » who « escaped on board motorcycles », according to this source.
In its statement, the governorate said that « the defense and security forces » have deployed « to help the wounded. »
The government « presents its saddened condolences to the bereaved families and the Protestant religious community ».
Attacks attributed to jihadist groups against Christian churches or clerics have increased recently in Burkina Faso, a Sahelian country in West Africa.
Attack on the Ivorian border
On May 26, four worshipers were killed in an attack on a Catholic church in Toulfe, a town in the north of the country.
On May 13, four Catholics were killed in a religious procession in honor of the Virgin Mary in Zimtenga, still in the north.
The day before, six people, including a priest, were killed during an attack during Mass in a Catholic church in Dablo, a town in Sanmatenga province, in the north of the country.
On April 29, six people were killed in the attack on the Protestant church in Silgadji in the north.
In mid-March, Father Joël Yougbaré, parish priest of Djibo (north), was abducted by armed individuals. On February 15, Fr César Fernandez, a Salesian missionary of Spanish origin, was killed in central Burkina Faso.
Several imams have also been assassinated by jihadists in northern Burkina since attacks began four years ago.
Moreover, at the other end of the country, in the west, on the Ivorian border, « armed individuals attacked the border crossing of Yendéré » Saturday evening around 22H00, doing « two wounded among the passengers of a bus of public transportation, « a security source told AFP.
« The assailants, about twenty heavily armed, burned a vehicle and took away several motorcycles, » said a police source. A search was conducted after this attack and the attackers « scattered in the forest ».
Yendéré, located about 20 km from Niangoloko, the main border post between Burkina and Ivory Coast, has already been the target of two attacks, including one had three deaths in April.
In total, the attacks attributed to a dozen jihadist groups, including Ansarul Islam, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and the Islamic State of the Great Sahara (EIGS), have killed nearly 700 people since early 2015, according to an AFP count, and about 500,000 IDPs and refugees, according to the UN.
Under-equipped and poorly trained, the army, the police and the gendarmerie of this poor country of West Africa are unable to stop the jihadist attacks, which intensified in 2019 until becoming almost daily.
In November, the defense and security forces announced that they had killed 56 jihadists during several operations.