The president of Burkina Faso has declared 48 hours of national mourning after militants killed at least 35 civilians and seven soldiers in one of the deadliest attacks in the West African country.
"In memory of the civilian and military victims of Tuesday's terrorist attack in Arbinda [town of northern Burkina Faso], I have decided to declare a national mourning of 48 hours over the whole extent of the national territory from Wednesday December 25 at midnight," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement.
Seven soldiers were killed during a raid by militants on an army base in the northern part of the country, according to a statement by the army chief.
"The heroic action of our soldiers has made it possible to neutralize 80 terrorists," Kabore said.
According to local media reports, the attacks were carried out by dozens of fighters on motorbikes lasting several hours before the army managed to push the attackers out of the military base and villages.
Kabore applauded the commitment and bravery of defense and security forces in Arbinda and expressed the country’s support and solidarity with them.
"On this Christmas Day, let us have a pious thought for the families grieved by the terrorist attacks against our country and let us be in communion with our valiant soldiers who fight with heroism to ensure the security of the national territory. God bless Burkina Faso," the president said.
No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack but the Sahel region is home to many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Daesh/ISIS among others.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.