Gunmen kill 25 displaced people in Burkina Faso, UN says

A Burkina Faso soldier (Ahmed Ouoba, AFP)

Armed assailants have killed 25 displaced people in northern Burkina Faso as their convoy tried to make its way home, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Wednesday.

The gunmen, who carried out the attack near the town of Pissila in the Center-North region on the night of 4 October, separated the men from the group and shot them. The women and children were let go, UNHCR said in a statement based on survivors’ testimony.

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“The attack on the [internally displaced people] occurred as they were returning to their homes from Pissila, hoping for an improved security situation there,” the UN said.

Long an island of calm in a restive region, Burkina Faso has descended into violent chaos since 2018 as Islamist groups sowed ethnic discord and carried out multiple attacks.

This year alone, hundreds of people have been killed in dozens of attacks on civilians. Over 1 million people are displaced, more than one in every 20 inhabitants, the UN says.

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