Burkina Faso: 180 bodies found in 'killing field'

At least 180 bodies have been found in mass graves in northern Burkina Faso where soldiers are fighting jihadists, a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report says.

“Available evidence suggests government forces were involved in mass extrajudicial executions,” HRW says.

Over seven months, the bodies had been dumped near the town of Djibo in groups of up to 20, before being buried by local residents.

Burkina Faso’s defence minister suggested militants might be to blame.

“It is difficult for the population to distinguish between armed terrorist groups and the defence and security forces,” Chérif Moumina Sy told the campaign group in response to the findings.

But the minister said the government would investigate the allegations.

‘Killing field’

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, has been fighting Islamist insurgents with ties to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group since 2016.

Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at HRW, said Djibo had been turned into a “killing field”.

Image caption

Soldiers have been fighting jihadists in the north since 2016

The campaign group said the government should seek assistance from the UN and others to conduct proper…

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