At least fifteen faithful were killed and two injured on Sunday during a "terrorist attack" perpetrated against a Catholic church in the village of Essakane, in northern Burkina Faso, announced the vicar general of the diocese of Dori, Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo.

“We bring to your attention the terrorist attack of which the Catholic community of Essakane-Village was the victim on February 25, while they were gathered for Sunday prayer,” wrote the vicar general in a press release sent to the AFP.

“The provisional report shows 15 faithful killed,” he wrote: “12 on site and three died at the Health and Social Promotion Center” as a result of “their injuries,” he said. .

The provisional report established by the vicar general also mentions "two injured".

Jean-Pierre Sawadogo says he wants “peace and security” in Burkina, castigating “those who continue to sow death and desolation in our country”.

Nearly 20,000 victims of terrorist attacks since 2015

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been confronted with jihadist violence attributed to armed movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which has left nearly 20,000 dead and more than two million internally displaced.

These attacks have sometimes targeted churches in this country, where kidnappings of Christian clerics have also increased.

In February 2020, 24 people were killed and 18 injured in an attack on a Protestant church in the village of Pansi, in the north of the country.

In December 2019, 14 worshipers, including children, were killed during an attack on a Protestant church in Hantoukoura, in eastern Burkina.

In May 2019, four faithful were killed during an attack on a Catholic church in Toulfé, also in the north of the country.

Earlier the same month, six people, including a priest, were killed in an attack targeting a Catholic church in the north, in Dablo.

In April 2019, five people were killed during the attack on the Protestant church in Silgadji, in the North. 

The village of Ekassane is located in the so-called “three borders” zone, on the borders of Burkina, Mali and Niger, a den of jihadist groups.

In these three countries, all facing recurring and deadly jihadist violence, civilian governments have been overthrown by successive military coups since 2020.

With AFP

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