In the latest attack on Christians in Burkina Faso, four people have died after gunmen attacked a Catholic church in the north of the country.
The targeting of Toulfe’s Christian community, 240km north-west of the capital Ouagadougou, as they gathered for Sunday prayers was just the latest in a string of attacks on their places of worship in the region, Al Jazeera reported.
Four Catholics taking part in a religious procession last week were killed by gunmen only days after a priest and five others were murdered at mass.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government asserts that unarmed groups operating in the country and the surrounding Sahel region are to blame.
The Sahel has been plagued by militant groups that have not only attacked Christians but also Muslim scholars considered insufficiently conservative.
To help local forces fight the extremists, France has deployed 4,500 troops to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.
Earlier this month, French special forces freed four foreign hostages who had been kidnapped by extremists, resulting in the death of the two of the soldiers.
In February the G5 Sahel nations – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger – gathered in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou and implored the UN to provide more funding and other aid to help their G5 Sahel Joint Force battle the cross-border insurgency, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and security personnel while inflicting crippling economic damage.
Since 2015 alone at least 400 people have been killed in the Sahel by the militants.
– African News Agency