A pastor and at least 23 others were killed and 18 others injured after gunmen attacked a church in northeast Burkina Faso on Sunday. In a neighboring community, a deacon, a pastor, and the pastor’s family were killed by abductors over the weekend.
Col. Salfo Kabore, the regional governor, told AFP that a group of “armed terrorists” attacked a Protestant church in the border village of Pansi in the Yagha province during worship services on Sunday.
Kabore said that gunmen “attacked the peaceful local population, after having identified them and separated them from non-residents.”
The mayor of Boundore commune, Sihanri Osangola Brigadie, told ABC News that about 20 gunmen had attacked the church. Brigadie visited some of the victims at a hospital located about 110 miles from the attack.
“It hurt me when I saw the people,” Brigadie was quoted as saying.
A government official who spoke with ABC News on the condition of anonymity said that both Muslims and Christians were killed in the attack and the church was set on fire.
Additionally, the gunmen were said to have kidnapped three minors and forced the youth to help transport oil and rice raided from the town shops.
A resident of Sebba, a nearby town to Pansi, told AFP that fleeing villagers fled to Sebba for safety.
The attack comes as over 4,000 were killed by Islamic extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali in 2019, according to the United Nations envoy for West Africa and the Sahel Mohamed Ibn Chambas.
Since 2016, Islamic extremist groups including the Islamic State West Africa Province and Ansaroul Islam have carried out attacks throughout the Sahel region of West Africa.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith