Suspected Islamists attack Eastern Burkina Faso, killing 30

Suspected Islamists attack Eastern Burkina Faso, killing 30

Charles Nwoke, Foutouri, Burkina Faso

May 5, 2021 

Above: children play in the shadow of a mosque, in a peaceful contrast to the brutal scene the country experiences from its attackers. Burkina Faso, as many of its neighbor West African nations, has been attacked many times in recent history by Islamist militias. 

“Kids Clown outside Mosque – Bobo-Dioulasso – Burkina Faso” by Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Global Photo Archive is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

 No fewer than 30 persons have been killed, following what would be considered the worst attack in the country’s history by Islamic extremists on Monday in eastern Burkina Faso.

According to a regional security source who spoke with AFP, “A large number of armed individuals attacked the village of Kodyel in the district of Foutouri this morning, causing several dozen deaths in the civilian population.”

An authority from a local civil-defense group who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the unfortunate incident, saying that at least 20 to 30 people had been killed.

He said, “It happened early this morning when some people were still in their homes. Dozens of men burst into the village and set houses on fire, while others stood watch and shot at people indiscriminately.”

Another official of the VDP civil defense militia in Foutouri district who wouldn’t like his name mentioned, equally estimated “around 30 dead, men and women. The toll remains provisional, because everyone fled the village.”

The second volunteer added, complaining that their reports of militants in the area and threats against the villagers had been ignored.

“Around twenty people were injured, several of them seriously wounded, and every reports made over the threats from the insurgents against the villagers to the military were ignored,” he said.

But the security source said, “operations to secure the population and track down these individuals were launched as soon as the volunteers raised the alarm.”

The estimated number of casualties on the  Monday raid is believed to be one of the deadliest ever terrorist attack in Burkina Faso.

This attack was carried out just a week after three Europeans — two Spanish journalists and an Irish wildlife activist were executed in an ambush against an anti-poaching patrol.

Burkina Faso, an impoverished West African country, has like its neighbours, Mali and Niger suffered jihadist attacks since 2015.

Among the most terrible attacks in recent years was an attack on New Year’s Day in 2019, in northern Burkina Faso, which claimed the lives of at least 50 persons in intercommunal crisis that broke out after unidentified assailants killed six including a village head.

Also, in November 2019, 37 persons were slain and 60 injured in an attack against a convoy of a Canadian mining company’s staff in the Eastern region of the country.