At least 16 people were killed in a mosque in Burkina Faso, after armed men stormed in, as worshippers were at prayers, security sources said on Saturday.
The attack on the Grand Mosque in the town of Salmossi on Friday evening underscores the difficulties faced by the country in its battle against jihadists.
One source said 13 people died on the spot and three succumbed to their injuries later. Two of the wounded are in critical condition.
“Since this morning, people have started to flee the area,” one resident from the nearby town of Gorom-Gorom said.
He said there was a “climate of panic despite military reinforcements” that were deployed after the deadly attack.
Although hit by jihadist violence, many Burkinabes oppose the presence of foreign troops notably from former colonial ruler France on their territory.
On Saturday, a crowd of about 1,000 people marched in the capital Ouagadougou “to denounce terrorism and the presence of foreign military bases in Africa.”
“Terrorism has now become an ideal pretext for installing foreign military bases in our country,” said Gabin Korbeogo, one of co-organisers of the march.
“The French, American, Canadian, German and other armies have set foot in our sub-region, saying they want to fight terrorism. But despite this massive presence… the terrorist groups… are growing stronger.”