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28 people found shot dead in northwestern Burkina Faso

Government says investigation launched into killings in Nouna town

Aurore Bonny  | 03.01.2023 - Update : 03.01.2023
28 people found shot dead in northwestern Burkina Faso

DOUALA, Cameroon

The bodies of 28 people who were shot dead have been found in a town in northwestern Burkina Faso, authorities said.

“The tragedy occurred in Nouna, capital of the province of Kossi, on the night between Dec. 30 and Dec. 31,” Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, a government spokesman, said in a statement late on Monday.

He did not share any further details, saying an investigation has been launched to identify the attackers and their motives.

Armel Sama, a prosecutor in Nouna, said all the victims were male and had multiple gunshot wounds.

However, a local rights group, Collective Against Impunity and Stigmatization of Communities (CISC), claimed there were children among the victims.

The CISC said the attacks were carried out by armed civilians posing as members of the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP), a group trained and funded by the government to aid anti-insurgency efforts.

The attackers mainly targeted influential and wealthy members of the community, the group said.

Burkina Faso remains plagued by insecurity, largely due to an insurgency that has spilled over from neighboring Mali.

Political instability is also rife in the West African country, with two coups last year.

In January, elected President Roch Marc Kabore was ousted after over seven years in power, followed by a second coup in September that saw soldiers led by Capt. Ibrahim Traore depose Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

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