Civilians killed in Burkina Faso attack
An attack by Islamic extremists on Christmas Eve leaves 35 civilians dead in the West African state of Burkina Faso, one of the conflict-torn nations highlighted by Pope Francis in his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ Message.
On Christmas Eve, an attack left 35 civilians – mostly women – dead. The army said jihadists attacked a military detachment and civilians in Arbinda in Soum province in the north of the country, Vatican News reports.
Police said 80 militants were killed by security forces in the same incident.
In a brief message posted on Twitter, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore praised the ‘commitment and bravery’ of the police and military.
He also sent condolences to the victim’s families, declaring two days of national mourning. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Over the last four years, such outrages have killed more than 700 people, whilst displacing thousands of others.
In his annual Christmas Day “Urbi et Orbi” Message, Pope Francis prayed for comfort for those who are persecuted for their religious faith.
In particular he mentioned missionaries and members of the faithful who have been kidnapped, and the victims of attacks by extremist groups in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.