Unidentified assailants killed at least 43 people in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday, the government said, in one of the deadliest such attacks of the past year.
The government said in a statement on Monday that the attack targeted two villages in the North region, near the border with Mali. Armed groups and ethnic militias have repeatedly targeted civilians in the area.
Burkina Faso has battled against an insurgency since 2015, but the conflict has also provoked attacks on Fulani herders, who other communities accuse of supporting militants.
"On Sunday, attacks were carried out on the villages of Dinguila and Barga ... in Yatenga province. The provisional toll is 43 victims," the government said in a statement.
The statement did not blame any group for the attack or mention the Fulani community.
According to local sources, Fulani people make up the bulk of the population of the villages. Since insurgents have recruited among the Fulani, other communities accuse them of supporting militants.
Vigilante reprisal attacks against Fulani villages have been on the rise.
A year ago, an armed militia attacked the village of Yirgou and killed six people including the village chief, triggering a wave of violence between rival communities.
Burkina Faso is in the center of the Sahel region where a militant insurgency has spread from Mali. Attacks in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso killed at least 4,000 people in 2019, according to the U.N.
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