At least 50 civilians of Madjoari in eastern Burkina Faso were killed on Wednesday in an armed attack, the East Region governor Hubert Yameogo said in a statement on Thursday.
One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso has been shaken by jihadist raids since 2015, with the movements linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. More than 2,000 people have been killed and 1.8 million displaced.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on Wednesday against residents of the rural commune of Madjoari, said Colonel Hubert Yameogo, the governor of the East Region.
The victims were travelling to a town in the nearby commune of Pama, close to the borders with Benin and Togo, Yameogo said in a statement.
Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have overrun swathes of Burkina Faso in recent years, part of a wider insurgency across West Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region.
The violence has expanded and intensified in the past decade, killing thousands of civilians each year.
The conflict is now spilling over into coastal West African countries like Benin and Togo. Eight soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in northern Togo this month in what was likely the first deadly raid in Togo by Islamist militants.
Wednesday’s attack in Burkina Faso followed two others this month in Madjoari. One killed 17 civilians and another killed 11 soldiers