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01 Dec 2019 | 02:19 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Unidentified gunmen kill 14 at church in Est region December 1

Unidentified gunmen kill at least 14 people at church in Est region December 1; similar attacks possible over the near term

security
BFA

Event

Unidentified gunmen killed at least 14 people at a church in Foutouri (Est region) on Sunday morning (local time), December 1. Further details were not immediately reported.

Similar attacks are possible in Est region over the near term.

Context

Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

On July 13, the government extended a state of emergency, which was declared in January for 14 provinces, to remain in effect until January 12, 2020.

Advice

Due to the severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including in the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.