Militants kill 36 civilians in Burkina Faso attack

Government appealed for local support to fight extremists

French President Emmanuel Macron (3-R), Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (2-L), Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore (R), Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou (2-R), Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani (L) and Chad's President Idriss Deby (3-R) attend a press conference as part of the G5 Sahel summit on the situation in the Sahel region at the Chateau de Pau (Pau Castle) in Pau, on January 13, 2020.  France and its five partner nations in the Sahel region of West Africa pledged on January 13, 2020 to bolster their fight against jihadists waging an increasingly deadly insurgency, while urging allies to join their effort to restore government control across the vast region. / AFP / POOL / Guillaume HORCAJUELO
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Terrorists killed 36 civilians on Monday when they attacked villages in northern Burkina Faso.

The militants killed 32 civilians when they attacked and burnt the market in Nagraogo village before killing four more people in Alamou village, the government said on Tuesday.

Three people were wounded in the attacks, it said.

"The Burkina government has learnt with consternation and anger of the deaths of 36 Burkinabe in Sanmatenga province, after a terrorist attack," Communications Minister RemisDandjinou said.

The government launched an appeal for local people’s "frank collaboration" with the defence and security forces after repeated attacks on civilians.

The African nation’s Parliament on Tuesday adopted unanimously a law allowing for the recruitment of local volunteers in the fight against militants, providing them with "light weapons".

Burkina Faso and its neighbours Mali and Niger have had frequent terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of people since the start of 2015, when extremist violence began to spread across the sub-Sahar region.

The UN says about 4,000 people were killed in militant attacks in the three countries last year.

The Burkina Faso army is too weak and poorly trained to deal with the threat of terrorists, but it has said it killed 100 militants in several operations in recent months.

There are 4,500 French troops in the region and 13,000 UN peacekeepers in Mali to fight insurgents, backing up the national forces of the G5 — Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

Washington has about 7,000 special forces on rotation in the region.

The US will make a decision on the level of its presence in Africa, particularly in the sub-Sahara, in about two months.

The countries also said they hoped Washington would maintain its "crucial support" in battling the extremists.