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Attack on Catholic Church in Burkina Faso leaves 15 dead and 2 injured

Tragedy struck the peaceful village of Essakane in Oudalan province, northeastern Burkina Faso, on Sunday as a Catholic church became the target of a violent attack. At least 15 people lost their lives, while two others sustained injuries during the assault, which occurred amidst Sunday worship.

Attack on Catholic Church in Burkina Faso leaves 15 dead and 2 injured

Details surrounding the attack remain scant, but according to a church official, suspected Islamist militants carried out the assault. The village, situated near the border with Mali, found itself engulfed in chaos as the assailants unleashed violence upon the unsuspecting worshippers.

The news of the attack sent shockwaves throughout the country, yet there was no immediate response from authorities in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Abbot Jean-Pierre Sawadogo, the head of the local diocese, confirmed the grim toll, revealing that 12 individuals lost their lives on the spot, while three succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.

"In this painful circumstance, we invite you to pray for those who died in faith, for the healing of the wounded, and for the consolidation of grieving hearts," expressed Abbot Sawadogo in a statement, urging for solace and solidarity during these trying times.

This horrifying incident marks the latest in a series of atrocities attributed to Islamist militants in Burkina Faso. With more than a third of the country under insurgent control, the authorities have been engaged in a protracted battle against extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The Sahel region has witnessed mass displacement and widespread suffering as a result of their activities.

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Churches have increasingly become targets for such attacks, with scores of worshippers falling victim to senseless violence in recent years. The relentless onslaught of terrorism has cast a dark shadow over the nation, prompting concerns about the safety and security of its citizens.

Amidst these challenges, Burkina Faso finds itself at a crossroads politically and diplomatically. The recent withdrawal from the regional bloc, Ecowas, alongside neighbouring Mali and Niger, underscores the strain on international partnerships in combating terrorism. Citing insufficient support from Ecowas in the fight against extremism, the junta-led countries have taken drastic measures to address their security concerns.

In a significant development, Burkina Faso's military-backed president, Ibrahim Traoré, hinted at the possibility of Russian troop deployment to counter jihadist threats. As the nation grapples with the relentless scourge of terrorism, the international community watches with bated breath, hoping for a swift resolution to the crisis engulfing this West African nation.

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