Jan. 3 (UPI) — A Burkina Faso civilian group said on Monday that 28 people were killed in the northwestern town of Nouna by a group claiming to be part of a government-supported volunteer force.
The Collective Against Impunity and Stigmatization of Communities, or CISC, said the armed group claimed they were part of the Homeland Defense Volunteers who took part in the deaths of victims they believed to be jihadists.
The military has been in control of the Burkina Faso government for a year in an effort to bring an end to the decade-long civilian war between government forces and militants. The bodies of the victims were found over the weekend.
Government spokesman Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo said it has opened an investigation to clarify what happened in the incident and who is responsible for the incident.
“The drama was perpetrated at a time when Burkina also undertook the mobilization of the people for united actions in the fight against terrorism,” Ouedraogo said.
There has been no independent claim for the deaths by the government or any other group.
The yearlong military insurgency in the West African country of Burkina Faso has been blamed for spilling over into neighboring Mali. The military removed elected President Roch Marc Kabore after he led Burkina Faso for seven years.
A second coup in September led by troops loyal to Capt. Ibrahim Traore depose Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.