Attack on mosque in Burkina Faso kills dozens

Victims were all Muslims, most of them men, who had come for morning prayers

OUAGADOUGOU  -  An attack on a mosque in east­ern Burkina Faso has killed dozens of Muslims on the same day as another deadly attack on Catholics attending mass, local and security sources told AFP on Monday.

“Armed individuals attacked a mosque in Natiaboani on Sunday around 5:00 am, re­sulting in several dozen being killed,” a security source said. 

“The victims were all Mus­lims, most of them men” who had come for morning prayers, a local resident said by tele­phone. Another local source said “The terrorists entered the town early morning. They surrounded the mosque and shot at the faithful, who were gathered there for the first prayer of the day.”

“Several of them were shot, including an important reli­gious leader,” the source add­ed. Soldiers and members of the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP), a ci­vilian force that supports the military, were also targeted “by these hordes who came in large numbers”, the same source said.

The source described it as a “large-scale attack” in terms of the number of as­sailants, who also wreaked substantial damage.

Natiaboani is a rural com­munity about 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Fada N’Gourma, the main town in Burkina’s eastern region, which has seen regular attacks by armed groups since 2018.

On the same day as the at­tack on the mosque, at least 15 civilians were killed and two others injured during an attack on a Catholic church during Sunday mass in north­ern Burkina Faso, a senior church official said.

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