The African Union condemned a deadly attack in Burkina Faso which may have killed as many as 160 people. The incident is the deadliest attack since Islamist violence erupted in the West African country in 2015.
Suspected jihadists killed more than civilians, including around 20 children, in Solhan village in Burkina Faso’s volatile north on Saturday, according to local officials, a day after another attack on Tadaryat village in the same region killed 14 people.
Government figures put the number of dead people at 132 with a further 40 others injured, as of late Saturday. However, local sources said they have recovered a total of 160 bodies from three mass graves.
“This act perpetrated against civilian populations, including children, is a real war crime and must be treated as such,” a statement from AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Sunday.
Mahamat labeled the attacks as “barbarism” and called for a “prompt and vigorous regional and international reaction” against the perpetrators who have wreaked havoc in Burkina Faso and the general Sahel region.
Burkinabe President Roch Marc Christian Kabore on Saturday declared three days of national mourning even as terrified residents fled to the nearby towns of Sebba and Dori.
Jihadist violence in Burkina Faso’s restive northern region has claimed the lives of hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.