07/29/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – On Thursday 25, July 2019, in the evening, about 20 individuals attacked the village of Diblou in the northern part of Burkina Faso. The attackers killed a total of 15 people, and destroyed several motorbikes and shops. The village’s market was also torched and completely looted hindering several residents from being able to continue with their work even after the attack. This attack, propagated by Ansarul Islam, comes months after several attacks on Christians, also attributed to the group.
The extremist group, Ansarul Islam, emerged near the Mali border in December 2016 and are linked to other groups who have sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda. The group has terrorized communities so much that in May this year, the government of Roch Maec Christian Kaboré (president of Burkina Faso) launched a military operation named Otapuanu meant to drive out all extremist groups in the north and center of the Sahel. Unfortunately, so far, there has been very little success.
While this specific attack was not exclusively targeted at Christians, in the previous months, these extremist groups have targeted churches, priests and believers congregating outside of church buildings. Despite this attack not targeting a Church, Christians in Burkina Faso continue to worry about the rise of Muslim extremist groups because it increases their vulnerability and the likelihood that they are going to be singled out, and attacked. For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].