Suspected Islamic extremists attacked a baptism party in northern Burkina Faso, killing at least 15 people and sending terrified civilians fleeing to other towns, authorities said Wednesday.
The attack took place Tuesday near the town of Tin-Akoff, according to Salfo Kabore, the governor of the Sahel region.
It is the fourth attack against civilians this month in the community, according to an internal security report for aid workers.
“People are shocked and many are running,” said Moha AG Agraz, a Tin-Akoff native who has been in contact with town residents.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the internal security report viewed by The Associated Press blamed extremists linked to the Islamic State group.
Violence linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State extremists has left thousands dead in the West African nation over the last several years.
In recent weeks, attacks have spiked in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region and in the country’s east.
Two Spanish journalists and an Irish conservationist were among more than 50 people killed during one week in April.
The violence has displaced more than 1 million people, and aid groups say it’s also brought tens of thousands to the brink of starvation by disrupting aid operations to those in need.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said earlier this month it was “deeply concerned by the humanitarian consequences” of violence that displaced more than 17,500 people in a 10-day period.
Tuesday’s attack took place in an area where international and regional armed forces are actively trying to stop jihadist violence.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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