Attack on Catholic church in Burkina Faso leaves six dead
Six people were killed Sunday during mass at a Catholic church in central Burkina Faso, according to state media.
Gunmen on motorcycles stormed the church in Dablo on Sunday morning, killing six men, including the priest, identified as Father Simeon Yampa. The attackers then set fire to the church and other buildings in the area, the Burkina Information Agency reported.
In February, CNN reported that the US was considering sending additional military advisers as well as intelligence and surveillance assets, such as drones, to Burkina Faso, in order to help combat a growing terrorist threat.
The landlocked country in northwest Africa has been beset by extremist violence in recent months as Islamist terror groups expand their reach.
The number of violent incidents in the country linked to the local affiliates of al Qaeda and ISIS rose from 24 in 2017 to 136 in 2018, according to a report by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.
The Trump administration last year announced plans to cut the overall number of US troops in Africa by around 10%. One defense official told CNN that the reductions would eventually lower the number of US counterterrorism troops and their enablers who support operations by approximately 25%.