Suspected jihadists killed around 10 civilians in northern Burkina Faso, officials said Tuesday, while four people were suspected to have been kidnapped.
“Around 10 civilians were executed” after armed men, likely belonging to the region’s Islamic State branch, attacked residents of Dambam heading to market, a military official said.
The attack took place on Monday in the country’s north near the border with Niger.
Troops “were deployed in the area to reinforce security and search it because four other people” went missing heading to the market in Markoye, he said.
A local official said “terrorists set up a checkpoint on the road between Dambam and Markoye and intercepted all those heading to the market”.
He said the “four people who went missing were kidnapped by the jihadists” as the assailants targeted people on foot, motorcycles and other vehicles.
Another local official told AFP “most of the victims were murdered in a cowardly manner, their throats slit” and vehicles burned.
The official said armed groups made incursions into a number of communities in the northern Sahel region on October 29-30.
“They looted property, carried off livestock or kidnapped residents,” the official said.
Markoye is close to the so-called tri-border region of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger that have seen a surge of bloody jihadist attacks.
Host to one of the rare weekly markets in the region, people travel there to buy or sell their livestock on Mondays.
In August, 30 people — 15 soldiers, 11 civilians and four army irregulars — were killed during attacks against Dambam, Guevara and Tokabangou, all close to Markoye.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso is struggling with an insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.
Its armed forces are poorly trained and equipped against highly mobile jihadist units linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
The groups are adept at ambushing highway convoys, planting roadside bombs and carrying hit-and-run raids on remote villages.