Unidentified gunmen killed at least four people outside a church in Zimtenga (Bam province) on Monday, May 13. The attackers reportedly targeted a procession taking place outside the church, killing four worshipers, before burning a religious statue.
Similar attacks targeting places of worship in northern Burkina Faso are possible over the coming weeks.
The latest attack follows a similar raid by gunmen on a church in Soum province on April 28, where at least six people were killed.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso (Est region), which is also known for high crime rates. Attacks are typically attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
On January 11, Burkina Faso's parliament extended a state of emergency effective in Est and Sahel regions, the western provinces of Kossi and Sourou, the central-eastern province of Koulpélogo, the western province of Kénédougou, and northern province of Lorum by six months.
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in the north of the country and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
Due to the severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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