Burkina Faso: at least 15 civilians killed in the north

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At least 15 civilians were killed between Saturday and Sunday in Pobé-Mengao, Soum province, northern Burkina Faso, by armed groups, causing residents to flee to Djibo, the provincial capital located in 25 km, AFP learned from safe and civilian sources.

“Lifeless bodies of eleven people were found Sunday morning on the axis Pobé-Mengao – Petelbongo (…) probably the bodies of people kidnapped the day before in Pobé-Mengao by GAT ” (armed terrorist groups, in military jargon ), said a security source.

“Saturday night, many armed individuals attacked the village of Pobé-Mengao and kidnapped several residents, looted shops and took away gear,” a Djibo resident told AFP.

“After the departure of the attackers, the populations started to leave the village to take refuge in Djibo, especially after the discovery of the bodies,” he said on condition of anonymity.

“The armed individuals returned Sunday to the village of Pobé-Mengao, where they fired shots in the air for several hours before leaving,” said the source, citing testimonies of displaced.

“Four other bodies were found after this second passage of terrorists”, bringing to fifteen the number of people killed, said a local source in Djibo.

According to the security source, “as early as Sunday evening, reinforcements were deployed on Pobé-Mengao and security patrols carried out throughout the area.”

“These measures should be maintained for several days depending on the evolution of the security situation in this area”.

Burkina Faso has been caught for four and a half years in a spiral of violence attributed to jihadist movements, some affiliated to Al Qaeda and others to the Islamic State group.

Since the beginning of 2015, jihadist attacks, more and more frequent and deadly, especially in the North and East, have caused nearly 640 deaths and caused nearly 500,000 internally displaced persons.

Saturday, more than 10.0000 people demonstrated in Ouagadougou to express their “support” to the defense and security forces, under-equipped and under-trained to stop jihadist violence

AFP

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