Six shot dead during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso

Six shot dead during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso

Six shot dead during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso

Gunmen killed six people including a priest outside a Catholic church in Burkina Faso on Sunday, a local official said, the second attack on Christians in two weeks in a nation increasingly overrun by jihadists.

The attackers then burned the church, looted a pharmacy and some others stores, and left in vehicles, they told Reuters.

Mr Zongo told the AFP news agency: "Armed individuals burst into the Catholic church".

This is the first reported attack on a Catholic church, which comes just a week after gunmen killed five people at Protestant church in the northern town of Silgadji. "It's practically a ghost town". At least six people were killed, and a priest was among those who died. Attacks have included the kidnapping of foreigners. Two French soldiers were killed in an operation to rescue four people taken hostage in Burkina last week, France said.

The other two hostages from the US and South Korean have not been named.

But violence has only worsened since.

The attacks started in the north of the country before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and other regions, notably the east of the country.

Burkina Faso attracted global attention last week after two French soldiers died in an overnight military raid that freed four hostages, including an American woman.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned Sunday's attack and offered condolences as he cited "the sanctity of all places of worship", according to a UN spokesman.

Muslim and Christian clerics have been targeted by the groups.

Fighters affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group as well as the local Ansarul Islam have been active in the region.

The United States announced earlier in May that it would double down on efforts to support the government of Burkina Faso, and would provide Burkina Faso's military with guidance on how to better train and manage troops and increase security around key targets.

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