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Attack on village in Burkina Faso's volatile north leaves many dead

Issouf Sanogo, AFP | A Burkina Faso's soldier patrols to ensure security measures during Burkina Faso's cycling tour, in Ouahigouya, on October 29, 2018.

Nineteen people died in an attack on a village in the troubled north of Burkina Faso, a security source said Monday.

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“Several dozen armed men carried out an attack on the district of Arbinda, shooting several people dead,” on Sunday, a local official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A security source said “19 bodies have been found”.

The official said the attack took place “between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm (local and GMT) when a group of assailants opened fire on locals”.

An emergency meeting was under way Monday to discuss the situation, the official said.

The security source said on Sunday morning three vehicles had been stopped and burnt and a driver killed before the attack.

Arbinda has witnessed a spate of deadly violence in recent months despite an operation to clear the area of jihadists.

At the start of April, 62 people were killed in jihadist attacks and ensuing ethnic clashes in Arbinda.

Burkina Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a number of jihadist groups, including the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

The raids began in 2015 in the north before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and other regions, notably in the east.

Nearly 400 people have been killed since 2015 -- mainly in hit-and-run raids according to an AFP tally.

Jihadist groups target Christian clerics as well as Muslim ones they do not consider sufficiently radical in a country where traditionally both religions have co-existed peaceably.

Former colonial ruler France has deployed 4,500 troops in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad in a mission codenamed Barkhane to help local forces flush out jihadists.

(AFP)

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