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Gunmen killed at least 43 people in attacks on two villages in northern Burkina Faso, the government said Monday.
Armed men attacked Dinguila and Barga villages in Yatenga province, the government said in a statement on Monday. The military was dispatched to secure the villages and at least six injured were taken to the central hospital in nearby Ouahigouya, said the statement.
Government spokesman Remis Fulgance Dandjinou told The Associated Press he didn't know who was behind the violence.
The villages that were attacked, however, are known to be populated by Fulani herdsman who have been targeted by local defense groups and the army for their alleged affiliation with jihadists.
A resident from Ouahigouya, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of his safety, told the AP that the attacks occurred after jihadists sought shelter in the town of Dinguila. Local defense groups followed the extremists to the town and massacred people, he said.
Analysts say the attack signifies a worrying trend.
"This is also one of the areas where we have identified a significant risk of increased stigmatization against the Fulani," said William Assanvo, senior researcher with the Institute for Security Studies. This is the first massacre of this scale in that area, he said.
This trend is also occurring in neighboring Mali, said Christian Poonwah, director of Safer Access Consulting, an international security company in OuagadouRead More – Source