Gunmen kill 6 in second church attack in Burkina Faso

30 2018 shows Burkinabe gendarmes sitting on their vehicle in the city of Ouhigouya in the north of the country.- Two Burkinabe soldiers were killed and three wounded in the night

A group of gunmen broke into a Catholic church in Burkina Faso on Sunday morning during Mass and began shooting at the congregation, Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported.

Dablo mayor Ousmane Zongo said: "Around 9 a.m., during a mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic Church".

The attackers - numbering between 20 and 30 - managed to trap some of the people inside then set fire to the church in the town of Dablo, about 200km from the capital Ouagadougou.

Then in late April unidentified gunmen killed a pastor and five congregants at a Protestant church, also in the north, suggesting the violence was taking a religious turn. "It's practically a ghost town".

The attack happened in the northern village of Dablo, located not far from the volatile border with Mali.

The attack came two days after the release of two hostages in Burkina Faso during a daring French special forces military operation that resulted in the deaths of two of their own soldiers.




Around 4.3 million people have been driven from their homes in the worsening violence that has engulfed the entire Sahel region, including one million over the past year, according to United Nations humanitarian officials.

One of the French hostages, Laurent Lassimouillas said: "All our thoughts go out to the families of the soldiers and to the soldiers".

Jihadist groups target both Muslim and Christian clerics, mainly in the north.

Over the past six months, at least 5,000 people have been killed in the Sahel - the sub-Saharan region of northern Africa - amid an escalation of inter-ethnic violence ranging from bombings to massacres to suicide attacks.

Burkina Faso attracted global attention last week after two French soldiers died in an overnight military raid that freed four hostages, including an American woman. At least six people were killed, and a priest was among those who died.

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