Over 250 Killed by Extremists in Burkina Faso in Under One Year – Report

OVER 250 civilians have been killed by Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso in less than a year, Human Rights Watch said in a new report.

 “Armed Islamist groups in Burkina Faso have attacked civilians with unmitigated cruelty and utter disregard for human life,” said Corinne Dufka, the group’s West Africa director. “Deliberately targeting farmers, worshippers, mine workers, displaced people and traders are war crimes” according to the report released on Monday.

The report said that at least 20 attacks by groups linked to al-Qaida, such as Ansarul Islam, or the Islamic State group have occurred since April 2019, killing at least 256 people.

More than 250 civilians have been killed by Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso in less than a year, Human Rights Watch said in a new report Monday, as attacks increase and armed groups gain more territory in the West African nation’s north and east.

Attackers are justifying the killings by linking their victims to the government, the West or Christian beliefs, witnesses told the rights group.

“Armed Islamist groups in Burkina Faso have attacked civilians with unmitigated cruelty and utter disregard for human life,” said Corinne Dufka, the group’s West Africa director. “Deliberately targeting farmers, worshippers, mine workers, displaced people and traders are war crimes.”

At least 20 attacks by groups linked to al-Qaida, such as Ansarul Islam, or the Islamic State group have occurred since April 2019, killing at least 256 people, the report said. The groups often have not claimed responsibility.

In one major attack, extremists killed at least 35 civilians, mostly women, and ensuing clashes with security forces left 80 extremists dead, Burkina Faso’s president announced Dec. 24.

Another attack weeks earlier against a convoy carrying employees of a Canadian mining company killed at least 37 civilians in the country’s east.

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