Burkina Faso army massacred 223 villagers in revenge attack – HRW

By Gloria Aradi, BBC News|

More than 220 civilians, including at least 56 children, were massacred by Burkina Faso’s military in a single day this year, Human Rights Watch says.

In the attacks on 25 February, the army killed 179 people in Soro village and 44 others in the nearby Nondin village, an HRW investigation found.

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

Burkinabè authorities have not commented on the report.

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 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.

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