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At Least 14 Killed in Attack on Burkina Faso Church

Violence in Burkina Faso

Gunmen attacked a church on Sunday and left at least 14 dead and several injured in Burkina Faso's eastern region, an official said.

Although there's a dearth of information regarding how the attack was carried out and who did it, members of the armed forces were caring for the wounded and combing the area for the unknown gunmen.

Attacks in Burkina Faso, which borders Mali and Niger, began in the north but spread to the east and the west of the country in 2018, while the capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times.

The victims were attending a service at a Protestant church in the town of Hantoukoura, one of the sources said, putting the death toll at "more than 10", while another source said 14 worshippers were killed, all of them male.

However, the area where the attack took place is known for banditry and has come under frequent attacks from suspected jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Burkina Faso for months now has been experiencing such deadly attacks on churches.

The timing of the incident, during hours of worship, mirrors other attacks on Christians this year - a new phenomenon in a West African country that has long prided itself on its religious tolerance.

Hundreds of people have been killed in such attacks mostly executed by jihadist groups.