The Human Rights Watch has said that Burkina Faso’s military massacred more than 220 civilians, including at least 56 children, in a single day this year.

According to a report by BBC, in the attacks on 25 February, Burkina Faso’s army killed 179 people in Soro village and 44 others in the nearby Nondin village, an HRW investigation revealed.

HRW termed the mass killings “among the worst army abuse” incidents in the country in nearly a decade.

Last month, public prosecutor Aly Benjamin Coulibaly appealed for witnesses to identify the group behind the mass killings. He put the preliminary death toll at 170.

Villagers who survived the attack told HRW that a military convoy with over 100 soldiers descended on Nondin village, about 30 minutes after Islamist fighters passed nearby.

The soldiers went door-to-door, ejecting residents from their homes.

“They then rounded up villagers in groups before opening fire on them,” the report added, citing witness and survivor accounts.

They arrived in Soro, about 5km (3 miles) away, an hour later, also gathering and shooting at villagers, the survivors added.

In both villages, the soldiers also shot at those who attempted to hide or escape, witnesses said.The mass killings are believed to be retaliation by the military, which accused the villagers of aiding armed Islamist fighters.

April 25, 2024

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