Thirty-five civilians, including 31 women, were killed on Tuesday in a jihadist attack in Arbinda, in the north of Burkina Faso, one of the deadliest tolls in the history of this Sahel country, which declared 48 hours of national mourning. Four soldiers and three gendarmes also perished, and “80 terrorists” and seven members of security forces were killed, according to the president and the staff of the Burkinabè armies, who had announced the attack earlier in a statement.
It is the Burkinabè president Roch Kaboré in person, who has often been criticized for his lack of grip in the face of terrorist groups, who announced on Twitter the macabre record of this “barbaric attack”.
He praised the “commitment and bravery” of the Defense and Security Forces, which “repelled the attack on the Arbinda detachment”.
On December 25 morning hours, “a significant number of terrorists attacked simultaneously the military detachment and the civilian populations of Arbinda”, in the province of Soum, according to the general staff of the armies. The attack, of “rare intensity”, lasted “several hours”.
President Roch Marc Kabore declared two days of national mourning in the west African country in response to the attack.
After several hours, troops repelled jihadists and seized a large number of weapons and motorbikes, the army said in a statement.
“As they fled, in a cowardly way the terrorists killed 35 civilians of whom 31 were women,” the government said in separate statement. It said 80 militants and seven members of the security forces were killed in the earlier fighting.
The incident followed an attack on a mining convoy in November killed nearly 40 people – victims of an Islamist insurgency that has ignited ethnic tensions and rendered large parts of the country ungovernable this year.