Dozens killed by jihadist attack on a village in Burkina Faso

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“Several dozen” people were killed today in an attack apparently carried out by jihadists in Contiel, a community in the eastern province of Komandjari. Burkina Faso, sources of the security services reported.

One of these sources told the French Agency that a large number of gunmen launched an attack on Contiel in the morning. A local member of the Homeland Security Volunteers (VDP), a group of civilians fighting the jihadists on the side of the security forces, confirmed the attack, citing a “very heavy toll” and “at least 20-30 dead”.

“The report is temporary because the residents left the village,” said a VDP member from the Futuri community. He said there were “some 30 dead, men and women” and about 20 injured, many of them in critical condition. “This massacre could have been avoided,” he said, because several days ago “there was an alarm about the presence of terrorists” in the area. Some jihadists had threatened the villagers, accusing them of reporting them to the authorities or to volunteers fighting against them.

According to the VDP executive, the attack took place early in the morning, when the residents were still at home. Dozens of men stormed the community and set fire to homes, while others indiscriminately shot panicked residents.

The attack, one of the deadliest in eastern Burkina Faso, comes a week after an armed ambush against a joint anti-poaching group that killed three Europeans – two Spanish journalists and an Irish environmentalist.

Burkina Faso, a poor country in West Africa, has been the target of jihadist attacks since 2015, as have its neighbors Mali and Niger.

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