Around 170 ‘executed’ in three Burkina Faso villages, public prosecutor says

CNNAround 170 people have been “executed” in attacks on three villages in Burkina Faso’s northern Yatenga province, the regional public prosecutor has said.

Aly Benjamin Coulibaly said in a statement on Friday that his office was initially informed of the “massive murderous attacks” in the villages of Komsilga, Nodin and Soroe on February 25.

The statement was re-posted to the country’s justice ministry’s Facebook page on Sunday.

Coulibaly said people were also injured, although no figure was given.

He appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

The statement did not mention which group was behind the attacks.

Meanwhile, authorities have yet to announce an official death toll from separate attacks on February 25 that targeted a mosque and a church in the north and east of the country.

At least 15 Muslims and 15 Catholics were killed when “hordes of terrorists launched simultaneous attacks” on Tankoualou and Essakane villages, the government press agency Agence d’Information du Burkina (AIB) reported last week.

The European Union condemned those attacks while expressing solidarity with the troubled nation.

The junta-led West African country is one of the world’s poorest nations and has become an epicenter of violence carried out by Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

The violence began in neighboring Mali in 2012 but has since spread across the arid expanse of the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert.

Large areas of the north and east of Burkina Faso have become ungovernable since 2018. Millions have fled their homes, fearing further raids by gunmen who frequently descend on rural communities on motorbikes. Thousands have been killed.