Terrorism & Insurgency

Mosque attack underlines potential for escalating inter-communal violence in Burkina Faso

17 October 2019

Sixteen people were killed and two seriously wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire on worshippers attending evening prayers at the Grand Mosque in Salmossi village in Burkina Faso’s far northern Oudalan Province, close to the border with Mali, on 11 October.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, several militant Islamist groups are active in the area, including the Mali-based Al-Qaeda affiliate Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), its Burkinabe offshoot Ansarul Islam, and the rival Islamic State-aligned forces operating in the Sahel, which since May has claimed its operations under the aegis of the Islamic State’s Wilayat Gharb Afriqiyya.

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