Gunmen attacked a church in Eastern Burkina Faso on Sunday 1 December. The attack took place in the small town of Hantoukoura and left 14 Christians dead, with numerous others injured. This attack is reminiscent of the multiple attacks that took place earlier this year in Northern Burkina Faso, when churches, clergy and laypeople were killed during religious ceremonies.
Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, it is very likely that these attacks are tied to the growing Islamist insurgency that has rooted itself in Mali and Northern Burkina Faso. According to the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington, the number of deaths from the violence in Burkina Faso is roughly 60% higher this year compared with last year when 1,112 people were killed.
The Burkinabe government has been trying to deal with the insurgency but has not been able to cease the attacks. Their very porous border with Mali has made them a target for the extremist groups that gained power during the coup in Mali.
The country of 19 million is about two-thirds Muslim, with a much smaller Christian minority. About 500,000 people have been displaced due to the conflicts that have arisen this year in the small West African nation.
Source: International Christian Concern
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