Attack on Eastern Burkina Faso Mosque Leaves at Least 14 Dead

Attack on Eastern Burkina Faso Mosque Leaves at Least 14 Dead

On Sunday, a tragic event unfolded in the town of Natiaboani, situated in eastern Burkina Faso. A mosque in the town became the target of a horrific terrorist attack, resulting in the unfortunate death of at least 14 individuals. The attack was carried out on the same day as another incident where a Catholic church was attacked, resulting in 15 fatalities.

The Federation of Islamic Associations of Burkina (FAIB) released a statement providing further details about the incident. According to them, out of the 14 victims, twelve lost their lives at the scene of the attack, while the remaining two, tragically succumbed to their injuries while receiving treatment at the hospital. The statement read, “Individuals without faith or law have once again blindly perpetrated vile and cowardly attacks against a mosque, causing the death of several worshipers, including the spiritual leader.”

The statement further expressed the deep sadness and despair that has engulfed the nation of Burkina Faso following this tragedy. “Burkina Faso is once again faced with an indescribable tragedy after the terrorist attacks on its territory. These are very painful times for the nation and, in particular, for the Burkinabe communities,” the statement read. The statement was published on Monday by the AIB news agency.

The organization, in its statement, vehemently condemned these acts of barbarism, deeming them as unjustifiable. They extended their condolences to the grieving families of the victims and urged the nation to renew its support for the country’s authorities.

The report further narrated how armed groups attempted to attack a military detachment and positions of ‘volunteers’ who had been recruited to combat jihadism. “Confused and disconcerted by the defeat, (…) the terrorists headed to the town’s mosque,” the media reported. The report also highlighted how the Burkinabe authorities successfully repelled various attacks during the weekend, carried out by “thousands of terrorists.”

Security sources cited by the agency reported the death of a significant number of “criminals” during the clashes. The Air Force was also reported to have carried out various bombings. The “terrorists” were said to have launched their attacks “in perfect synchronicity” against positions in Pensa, Natiaboani, Kongoussi, Ouahigouya, and Tankoualo. However, up until now, no group has claimed responsibility for these attacks.

On the previous day, Laurent Bifuré Dabire, the bishop of the diocese of Dori, reported through Jean-Pierre Sawadogo, the head of the local religious headquarters, that armed men had attacked a Catholic church in the town of Essakane, located in northeastern Burkina Faso, near the border with Mali and Niger, resulting in the death of 15 individuals.

Since the year 2022, Burkina Faso has been governed by a military junta led by Ibrahim Traoré. Unfortunately, the country has seen a significant rise in insecurity since 2015, with increased attacks by affiliates of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. This has led to a wave of people being internally displaced and others seeking refuge in neighboring countries.