Pastor and five others killed in Burkina Fasso
Report by Hassan John
The Senior Pastor of a protestant church and five members of the congregation have been killed in a northern town of Silgadji near Djibo, the capital of Soum province, in Burkina Faso, on Sunday April 28, when armed men, suspected to be the jihadi terrorist group, Ansarul Islam, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), attacked the church.
“The attack happened around 1pm (local time) just as the faithful were leaving the church at the end of the service,” a member of the church, who pleaded anonymity, said. “The attackers were on motorbikes. They fired in the air before aiming at the members of the congregation,” the witness added.
Remy Fulgance Dandjinou, the government spokesman said this is the first attack on a church since the surge of radical muslim terrorists group attacks in the region.
Radical Islamic groups, spreading from Mali and Niger, have moved into northern Bukina Fasso and carried out attacks in the country including capital Ouagadougou.
Radical Islamic jihadi groups have targeted and attacked christians on several occasions. In February, Father Cesar Fernandez, a Spanish priest and Salesian missionary, was killed in Nohao in the central-eastern central region of the country. Father Joël Yougbaré, priest of Djibo in the northern region, was kidnapped and was later murdered. In January this year, a Canadian was killed after his abduction.
Muslims and Imams who were “considered not radical enough” by jihadists or “accused of collaborating with the authorities” have also been tarted by the terrorist groups operating in Bukina Fasso.
About 30% of the predominantly Muslim population as christians and the rest follow indigenous regions, according to the U.S. State Department.