UPDATE about the attack in Pansi, Burkina Faso

In the news were informed that gunmen have killed 24 people in an attack on Sunday. In the news have been informed about an attack to a protestant church during a weekly service but we cannot confirm this version.

We received today an update from the local project partners in the diocese Dori (Yagha is part of this diocese). The news are still very confusing. What we can say: On Sunday February 16th, around 6 am, big number of armed individuals (around 30 people) burst into Pansi, surrounded the village and began to search house after house, taking money and clothes. After that, they grouped the men by 10 and made them to lie down on the floor. In a final attempt to survive, some of them began to run. This limited the number of those killed to 24 , including one Catholic catechist. No protestant or catholic church was attacked but Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and those of the traditional religion are among the dead.

Attached the official statement from the government – as you see there is not a word about a church attack during the prayer services. It is written that a protestant pastor was killed but we cannot confirm this information. Our sources told us that “the pastor had already left Pansi. There was no religious service at all. Under the victims they identified just the catholic catechist. Probably the officer (a Muslim) mixed up in his report the catechist with a protestant pastor.

Since yesterday, catechists in the area have been on the run with their families to reach Dori. At least 10 catechists were looking for shelter, coming from different places in the region. The catechists affected are from the ethnic group Gurmantchés, this is also a difficulty for the local Church to help because because there are not many villages of the same ethnic group that they could go. In the “Mossi” villages people speaks Moore not Gurmantchéma.

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