The authorities in Burkina Faso said today, Saturday, that at least 114 civilians were killed in an attack carried out by armed men at night on a village in the north of the country, the deadliest since the start of violence in the country in 2015.
A statement by the Burkina Faso government added that the attack took place last night, killing residents of the village of Solhan, located in the Yaga region bordering Niger.
Agence France-Presse reported that the gunmen launched the attack at two o’clock in the morning against the website of the “Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland” organization; It is a civilian militia to combat the “jihadists” and supports the Burkina Faso army, before they attack homes and carry out executions, according to a local source for the agency.
The force is made up of civilians who receive 14 days of military training in the use of small arms and military tactics, and they carry out surveillance, information gathering, and protection tasks alongside the armed forces and the police.
The authorities declared a national mourning for the victims of the attack for 3 days, and said that the death toll was temporary and expected to rise.
Since the beginning of last year, attacks by armed groups have increased sharply in the Sahel region of West Africa, especially in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and most of the victims are civilians.
The attacks have driven more than 1.14 million people from their homes in just over two years, while the impoverished country also hosts some 20,000 refugees from neighboring Mali seeking safety from armed attacks.