44 people were slain in two assaults by unidentified attackers overnight on Thursday in northern Burkina Faso, according to officials.
The assaults took place in the villages of Kourakou and Tondobi in the Sahel region of the nation in West Africa, which is controlled by jihadist organisations with ties to al Qaeda and the Islamic State who have been conducting strikes there for years.
Which gang committed the assaults on Thursday is unknown. Authorities cited “armed terrorist groups” as the cause on Saturday.
In Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest nations, more than 2 million people have been displaced, and hundreds have died as a result of the violence.
The uprising last year led to two military coups, which have sworn to restore control of the nation but have been unable to stop the violence.
In Mali in 2012, Islamists seized control of a Tuareg separatist movement, sparking the start of the region’s unrest. Since then, the violence has expanded to the nearby countries of Burkina Faso and Niger, and it now poses a danger to the stability of other coastal nations.