EU says around 100 civilians reportedly killed in Burkina Faso village massacre

Few venture in the normally busy streets of Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou Friday Sept. 30, 2022. Residents say gunfire rang out early in the morning and the state broadcaster has gone off the air, fueling fears that another coup is underway. The developments Friday come just after coup leader-turned-president Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba returned from a trip to the U.N. General Assembly. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia)

Burkina Faso’s military authorities have struggled to rein in islamist groups whose attacks have resulted in multiple civilian casualties this year.Sophie Garcia/APCNN — 

Roughly 100 civilians were reportedly killed during a massacre on a village in the West African country of Burkina Faso, the European Union’s diplomatic service said Monday.

“Nearly a hundred civilians, including women and children, are reported to have been killed in a massacre in the village of Zaongo, in the north-central region of Burkina Faso,” the EU External Action (EEAS) said in a statement.

The attack was condemned by the US government which along with the EU called on the transitional authorities to “shed light on the circumstances” behind the massacre to “determine who is responsible.”

Burkina Faso is currently under military rule after a junta staged a successful coup d’état in July 2022. Since the military takeover, the junta has prioritized security but has struggled to rein in islamist groups whose attacks have resulted in multiple civilian casualties this year.

The thwarted coup attempt comes nearly a year after Burkina Faso's junta leader Ibrahim Traore (center) seized power in the West African nation.

Four officers arrested in Burkina Faso after thwarted coup attempt, prosecutor says

In early April, authorities blamed terrorists for the killing of at least 44 people in separate attacks on villages in northern Burkina Faso.

Later that month, 136 others, including babies were killed in a similar onslaught on a village in the same region by armed men in military uniform. Authorities condemned the attack and opened an investigation.

Burkina Faso has been the epicenter of violence that has spread across the vast Sahel region by Islamist groups linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

According to Amnesty International, large swathes of the impoverished nation are “under siege by armed groups” who “commit war crimes and human rights abuses.”

In its statement condemning the latest attack, the EU reaffirmed “its full solidarity with the people of Burkina Faso”, describing them as “first victims of the continuing deterioration of the security situation in the country.”

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