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Christian father and four sons killed in one of five murderous Islamist attacks in Burkina Faso


1 October 2019

An elderly Christian man and four of his sons were killed on 23 September in one of five murderous attacks that took place in little more than a week in northern Burkina Faso, where Islamist extremists have already struck against Christian targets at least seven times this year.

A Barnabas Fund contact said a total of 41 people were killed in Bam Province. The rampage began on 21 September in the district of Bourzanga, where assaults on three villages left nine dead. There were around 20 gunmen, aged between 17 and 25, who roared into the villages on motorcycles.

On 23 September a further nine people died, including the Christian father and his four sons, in the villages of Pissele and Boulkiba.

Barnabas Fund is providing food, healthcare and trauma counselling for Christian women and children who fled attacks in Burkina Faso earlier this year
Barnabas Fund is providing food, healthcare and trauma counselling for Christian women and children who fled attacks in Burkina Faso earlier this year

On 28 September, a total of ten people were killed in the village of Komsilga, including one person kidnapped during the raid and later found dead. More attacks took place the same evening, killing seven more people in the villages of Deneon, Singa and Norde.

A Christian was among six people killed in an attack on Kanrgo village on 30 September. Local news sources said most of the victims were murdered in the fields where they had fled.

The Barnabas contact said that the violence has caused at least 19,000 people to flee the area to the provincial capital, Koungoussi.

Islamist gunmen carried out at least seven attacks earlier this year in the north of Burkina Faso, which prior to 2019 had largely escaped Islamist violence. The last attack was on 27 June when seven people were identified as Christians and shot dead in Bani, while others were allowed to go free.

This series of 2019 attacks began on 28 April in Silgadji, when gunman rounded up a pastor, his son and four of his congregation and demanded they deny their Christian faith and convert to Islam. After refusing they were shot one-by-one. Six were then killed at a church on 12 May and four at a Christian parade on 13 May. Four were then murdered at another church on 26 May. The fifth and sixth reported attacks took place on 9 and 10 June in which 29 were butchered by Islamist extremists.

From Barnabas Fund contacts