Gunmen killed a priest and five churchgoers during mass Sunday in an attack on a Catholic church in Dablo, northern Burkina Faso, security sources and local official said.
"Towards 9 a.m., during mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic church," the mayor of Dablo, Ousmane Zongo, told AFP. "They started firing as the congregation tried to flee."
The gunmen managed to trap some of the worshippers, he added. "They killed five of them. The priest, who was celebrating mass, was also killed, bringing the number of dead to six."
The attackers set fire to the church, several shops and a small cafe before heading to the local health center, which they looted and also burned the chief nurse's vehicle, said Zongo.
A security source said between 20 and 30 gunmen carried out the attack.
Burkina Faso, which boasts of a history of religious tolerance, has been beset by a rise in attacks as terrorist groups based in neighboring Mali seek to extend their influence over the Sahel, the arid scrubland south of the Sahara.
The terrorist groups regularly target both Muslim and Christian clerics, mainly in the north.
Two weeks ago, gunmen killed five people in an attack on a Protestant church in the small northern town of Silgadji.
A total of 350 people have been killed since 2015 -- mainly in hit-and-run raids -- according to an AFP tally.
Around 55 to 60% of Burkina Faso's population is Muslim, roughly 20-25% are Christian and the rest follow indigenous regions, according to the U.S. State Department.
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