Jihadists Massacre at Least 130 in Burkina Faso as West African Violence Surges
Over the weekend, jihadists surrounded a remote village located on Burkina Faso’s border with Niger and massacred at least 130 civilians, according to the government. The event marks the worst terrorist attack in the history of Burkina Faso despite a recent influx in extremist violence. The violence has prompted international calls for heightened counterterror efforts across West Africa. During the attack, which lasted roughly three hours, the terrorists shot indiscriminately, burned homes and a market, lobbed explosives at civilians, and committed other atrocities. No group has claimed responsibility for the killings, however, government officials state that it was likely the work of the Islamic State’s regional affiliate, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).
ISGS has killed hundreds of civilians in recent months, according to the government. Roch Kabore, Burkina Faso’s president, has declared a three-day national mourning period to honor the lives of the victims. Kabore administered remarks via a televised address following the attack. The UN’s secretary-general, António Guterres stated that the attack underscores the urgent need for the international community to step up its efforts against violent extremism. The US State Department has also condemned the attack.