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Gunmen kill 20 civilians in Burkina Faso – February 5th 2020

BBC, 2 February 2020

As many as 20 civilians have been killed in an overnight attack in north-western Burkina Faso.  Unidentified heavily armed men on motorbikes carried out the attack on a village north of the capital Ouagadougou, on Saturday night.

The attack comes a week after 39 people were killed when militants attacked a market in Silgadji town.  The Sahel region has seen a recent increase in jihadist violence.

Last year saw the highest death toll due to armed conflict in the region since 2012, with more than 4,000 people killed.

The security crisis in the Sahel began when an alliance of separatist and Islamist militants took over northern Mali in 2012.

Although a peace deal was signed in 2015, it was never fully implemented.  New armed groups have since emerged and expanded to central Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, including groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.