Gunmen Kill Christians, Pastor In Burkina Faso As Attacks Against Christians Increase At An ‘Alarming Rate’


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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Gunmen killed 24 people including a Christian pastor in Burkina Faso, an attack that comes as analysts warn of increasing attacks against civilians and Christians.

About 20 attackers separated men from women near a Protestant church, Boundore commune Mayor Sihanri Osangola Brigadie told the Associated Press.

“The provisional toll is 24 killed, including the pastor … 18 wounded and individuals who were kidnapped,” Colonel Salfo Kabore, the regional governor, told Agence France-Presse. Kabore blamed “armed terrorists” for the attack.

The attackers also kidnapped three young people who they forced to transport oil and rice that the attackers stole from shops, Brigadie said. The mayor, who visited some of the victims in the hospital, said that “It hurt me when I saw the people.” (RELATED: Pelosi Omits Christians As She Lists Religious Persecutions Around The World)

The attack comes after gunmen killed a retired Christian pastor and kidnapped another pastor in the Yagha province only last week, the AP reports.

Burkina Faso soldiers patrol aboard a pick-up truck on the road from Dori to the Goudebo refugee camp, on February 3, 2020. (Photo by OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Burkina Faso soldiers patrol aboard a pick-up truck on the road from Dori to the Goudebo refugee camp, on February 3, 2020. ] instead of [Burkina Faso soldiers patrol aboard a pick-up truck at a camp sheltering Internally Displaced People (IDP) from Mali in Dori, on February 3, 2020. ]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP via Getty Images)

Burkina Faso soldiers patrol the road from Dori to the Goudebo refugee camp, on Feb. 3, 2020 (OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP)

Burkina Faso has become a hotbed for religiously motivated attacks.

More than 1,300 people were killed in targeted attacks in Burkina Faso in 2019, a number that is more than seven times the amount of people killed the previous year, the AP reported, citing the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

Attacks against Christians and other civilians are increasing at “at an alarming rate,” West Africa director for Human Rights Watch Corinne Dufka told the AP.

“Perpetrators use victims’ links to government or their faith to justify the killings, while others appear to be reprisal killings for killings by the government security forces,” Dufka told the AP.

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