Christians were among those targeted and killed when armed jihadists launched three separate attacks within 24 hours in Burkina Faso that left at least 58 dead.
Fifteen were killed when a convoy of traders, including children, was attacked while travelling from Titao to Sollé, in Loroum province, on 29 May.
On 30 May, armed Islamist militants opened fire at random in a cattle market in Kompienga province, killing at least 30 people and injuring many others.
On the same day, a humanitarian convoy was attacked by extremists in Barsalogho, Sanmatenga province, claiming the lives of six civilians and seven soldiers. Another 20 people were injured and a number were reported missing.
A Barnabas contact reported that it was clear from the testimony of a survivor that the militants were targeting Christians and humanitarians taking food to an internally displaced people (IDP) camp, where many mainly-Christian villagers had taken refuge after fleeing prior jihadi violence.
A survivor described how he was travelling in an ambulance in the convoy when it was attacked. The survivor said, “The driver shouted ‘forgive, forgive, we are also followers of the prophet Muhammad’. One of them [the gunmen] turned to his fellows saying ‘they have the same religion with us’.” The attack on the vehicle was apparently then halted.
Violence by Islamist extremists has surged in Burkina Faso in the last year, causing thousands to leave their homes. The increase in vicious attacks targeting Christians began in April 2019 in the northern town of Silgadji when a pastor, his son and four members of his congregation were shot in cold blood for refusing to convert to Islam.
Barnabas Fund, barnabasfund.org