OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – Armed attackers killed at least 33 people when they opened fire on vegetable producers in the Boucle du Mouhoun region on Saturday, according to the governor of the province.
Since March, the government has declared a state of emergency in much of the country, including areas of the western Boucle du Mouhoun region, in order to resist terrorist assaults.
“On the evening of Thursday, May 11, around 5:00 p.m. (1700 GMT), the village of Youlou in the department of Cheriba, Mouhoun province, suffered a cowardly and barbaric terrorist attack,” said Governor Babo Pierre Bassinga in a statement.
“The gunmen targeted peaceful civilians” farming near the river, he added, adding that the “provisional death toll” stood at 33.
According to local accounts, heavily armed gunmen on motorcycles fired indiscriminately.
On Friday, the victims were laid to rest.
People in Cheriba reportedly reported that three others were injured in the attack and that the culprits had burnt property before shooting.
According to the governor, security in the area is being improved.
Burkina Faso, which saw two military coups in 2022, is fighting a jihadist insurgency that crossed the border from Mali in 2015.
Captain Ibrahim Traore, the transitional president of Burkina Faso who conducted the most recent coup on September 30, has set a target of recapturing 40% of the country’s territory, which is controlled by Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group.
According to non-governmental organizations, the conflict has killed over 10,000 people – both civilians and military – and displaced an estimated two million people.