At least 50 civilians killed in suspected jihadist attack on Burkina Faso village

At least 50 civilians have died in an attack by suspected jihadists on a village in northern Burkina Faso, government spokesman Lionel Bilgo said on Monday, describing the killings as a revenge attack.

“The army has so far found 50 bodies” after the village of Seytenga was attacked overnight Saturday, Bilgo said, adding that the toll “may rise.”

A security source quoted by Reuters put the death toll at more than 100.

The United Nations condemned the attack that “claimed many victims” in a statement on Monday and called on Burkina Faso’s authorities to bring perpetrators to justice.

Seytenga was the site of bloody fighting last week.

Eleven gendarmes were killed on Thursday, prompting a military operation that the army said led to the deaths of around 40 jihadists. “The bloodshed was caused by reprisals to the army’s actions,” said Bilgo. “The country has been hit but the army is doing its job.”

The landlocked Sahel state is in the grip of a seven-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced some 1.9 million people to flee fled their homes.

Attacks have been concentrated in the country’s north and east.

The latest raid is one of the bloodiest since a military coup in January, when colonels angered at failures to roll back the insurgency ousted  elected president, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

After a relative lull, attacks resumed, inflicting a toll of hundreds of civilian and military deaths over the past three months.

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