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Over 200 Civilians Killed in Burkina Faso Military Raid, Says Human Rights Watch


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that Burkina Faso’s military forces killed 223 civilians, including babies and children, during a raid on two northern villages, Nondin and Soro.

The massacre took place on February 25.

The rights group documented that the attack, which included 56 children among the casualties, targeted villages accused of supporting militants.

The Executive Director of HRW, Tirana Hassan, said, “The massacres in Nondin and Soro villages are just the latest mass killings of civilians by the Burkina Faso military in their counterinsurgency operations.”

She called for international intervention, urging the United Nations and the African Union to help investigate these potential crimes against humanity.

The background to this violence is a years-long conflict within Burkina Faso, where government forces are battling jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State. This violence has displaced over two million people, with children making up more than half of those affected.

Survivors from the February attack told HRW that they believe the military’s actions were in retaliation for an Islamist attack on a nearby military camp.

A public prosecutor in Burkina Faso acknowledged ongoing investigations into the deaths, which local officials initially reported as 170.

This violence occurs in a broader context of escalating conflict in Burkina Faso, which has seen more than 20,000 deaths related to jihadist violence over the past nine years.

The current junta, led by Capt. Ibrahim Traoré, since a 2022 coup, has ended military cooperation with France and has sought assistance from Russia to control the violence, which has continued to intensify.

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