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Jihadists murder at least ten Christians at scene of earlier atrocity in Burkina Faso


3 February 2020

Jihadists, claiming to be killing “in the name of Allah”, returned to the scene of a previous atrocity in Burkina Faso on 25 January and murdered at least ten Christian men in a village market place; some estimates have put the death toll as high as 50.

The attack took place in the small northern town of Silgadji, where Boko Haram extremists began their murderous rampage last year on 28 April 2019, shooting the pastor, his son and four members of the congregation.

The April murder of a pastor, his son and four members of the congregation in Silgadji marked the start of a wave of Boko Haram violence in Burkina Faso in 2019
The April murder of a pastor, his son and four members of the congregation in Silgadji marked the start of a wave of Boko Haram violence in Burkina Faso in 2019

A witness to the latest outrage said, “The terrorists surrounded the people at the village market, before separating them into two groups. The men were killed and the women were ordered to leave the village.”

A Barnabas Fund contact said the gunmen roared into Silgadji on motorbikes and threatened to kill anyone who would not convert to Islam.

Days earlier, on 20 January, jihadists murdered 36 people in the neighbouring villages of Nagraogo and Alamou.

Eight of the dead were Christians returning to their home village, Nagraogo, to collect their belongings after seeking refuge from the extremist threat at an IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in Barsalogo. Our contact said it showed that the jihadists were well informed of the Christians’ movements and were able to target them.

Terrorist violence began to increase in Burkina Faso in 2015, but in 2019 Christians became the primary target. At least 191 Christians have been killed since the first Silgadji attack in April 2019, including these latest atrocities.

From Barnabas Fund contacts