By Alaattin Dogru
DAKAR, Senegal (AA): Death toll from a mosque attack in Burkina Faso rose to 16, local media reported on Saturday.
On Friday evening, an armed group stormed the Great Salmossi Mosque in Markoye as Muslims were praying, the northern province of Oudalan, killing 10 people.
Local news website Infowakat said citing security sources that the death toll reached 16 on Saturday. Two people were wounded in the attack.
No official statement has been made so far.
On Saturday, around 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,” Gabin Korbeogo, one of the organizers of the march, said.
He added: “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.”
Burkina Faso has been battling militants and inter-ethnic violence since 2015.
Reports indicate hundreds of people have been killed so far this year and more than 150,000 fled their homes due to attacks which spill across the Sahel region.
Last December, a state of emergency was declared in several northern regions, allowing security forces extra powers to search homes and restrict freedom of movement.
France has 200 soldiers in Burkina Faso to fight terrorism.
More than 500,000 people have been forced out of their homes because of the conflict and violence, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
Around 3,000 schools have been closed.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
Additional report by The Muslim News
[Map of Burkina Faso By United States Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook/Creative Commons]