(Ouagadougou) Forty-four civilians were killed in the attack on two villages in northeastern Burkina Faso, near the Niger border, by “armed terrorist groups” overnight from Thursday to Friday, said the governor of the Sahel region on Saturday.

“The provisional assessment of this despicable and barbaric attack” which targeted the villages of Kourakou and Tondobi, “stated 44 civilians killed and wounded”, details Lieutenant-Colonel Rodolphe Sorgho.

31 were killed in Kourakou and 13 in Tondobi, he said.

The governor assured that “actions to stabilize the locality are underway after (an) offensive led by the defense and security forces (FDS) which made it possible to put out of harm’s way the armed terrorist groups which perpetrated said attack”.

This double attack took place in localities located five kilometers from Seytenga, a border town with Niger, bereaved in June 2022 by an attack claimed by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS) which left 86 dead.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sorgho also invited the local populations on Saturday “to join forces with the FDS and enlist as volunteers for the defense of the homeland (VDP, civilian auxiliaries) in order to participate in the defense of their respective localities”.

Burkina Faso, in particular its northern part, has been caught in a spiral of violence since 2015 attributed to jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) organization, which has killed more than 10,000 civilians. and military-according to NGOs, and some two million internally displaced persons.

The country has been ruled since September by Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power in a coup, the second in eight months.

In February, Captain TraorĂ© had expressed in February his “intact determination” to fight the jihadists, despite the multiplication of attacks.