Burkina Faso | Nine dead in mosque attack

(Ouagadougou) Nine people were killed on Wednesday evening in an attack by suspected jihadists against a mosque in northeastern Burkina Faso, AFP learned from local sources on Thursday.

According to a witness, jihadists arrived shortly before 6 p.m. (GMT and local) in the village of Goulgountou, near Falagountou in the Sahel region, “on eight motorcycles”, before “gathering the faithful inside the mosque”.

“They separated the women, children and the elderly before giving sermons to convince the faithful to renounce their faith. A dialogue was even initiated with the imam and it was following his refusal that the latter was executed”, continues this witness.

“They tried to cut his throat, but he resisted, saying he wanted to die standing up, the terrorists then shot him in the head,” said a local resident who attended Thursday’s burial. victims.

“Eight other worshippers, mainly community leaders, were shot in the same way,” he added.

Bordering Niger, the commune of Falagountou, which is home to the large Essakane gold mine, has been facing several incursions by suspected jihadists since the beginning of the week.

According to local sources, many residents have fled the village since the tragedy to other localities deemed safer.

Burkina Faso, particularly in its northern half, has been confronted since 2015 with increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. They left thousands dead and at least two million displaced.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, transitional president resulting from a military coup on September 30 – the second in eight months – has set himself the objective of “reconquering the territory occupied by these hordes of terrorists”.

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