On 12 May, in the village of Dablo, 90kms from the city of Kaya, between 20 – 30 armed men stormed a Catholic church, opening fire on the worshippers. Six people were killed, including the 34-year-old priest.
On 13 May Catholics returning a statue of Mary to their church in Singa, 25 km from Kongoussi were attacked. Armed men let children go before killing four adults and destroying the statue.
Violence in Burkina Faso involves two main ethnic groups: the Fulani, accused of having ties with terrorist groups including the Ansar ul Islam – a homegrown group which emerged in 2016 – and members of the Kouroumba group.
Islamist militants have taken over several villages and towns in the area. They ‘parade’ around freely (most of the time on motorbikes and carrying sophisticated weapons), attacking and killing anyone who does not share their radical Islamist ideology.
A local church leader, who wants to be anonymous for his security, said “Christians are now in hiding in the region, no-one dares to sleep in his house overnight, for fear of being killed. It’s very hard for us.”
Many Christians have already fled to safer towns further south.
Sources: Assist News Services, World Watch Monitor
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