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Gunmen kill Six People in Church in Burkina Faso

Gunmen have killed six people including a priest as Mass was being celebrated in a church in Dablo in northern Burkina Faso, officials said.

The attackers, said to number between 20 and 30, then burned down the church.

The town’s mayor, Ousmane Zongo, described panic in the town as other buildings were burnt and a health centre looted.

Jihadist violence has flared in Burkina Faso since 2016, and this is the third attack on a church in five weeks.

Fighters affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group as well as the local Ansarul Islam have been active in the region.

“Armed individuals burst into the Catholic church… They started firing as the congregation tried to flee,” the mayor of Dablo, Mr Zongo told the AFP news agency.

“There is an atmosphere of panic in the town. People are holed up in their homes, nothing is going on. The shops and stores are closed. It’s practically a ghost town,” he said.

Security sources told AFP that reinforcements were being sent from Barsalogho, some 45km (30 miles) to the south.

Last month, attackers targeted a Protestant church in the town of Silgadji, killing at least six people

And earlier in April, four people died when a Catholic church was attacked in a nearby village, the bishop of Dori in northern Burkina Faso told Vatican news agency Fides.

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