At least 44 civilians were killed in two separate attacks on villages in northern Burkina Faso, authorities there said.
A local governor, Rodolphe Sorgho, blamed terrorists for the “despicable and barbaic” attacks, without naming a specific group.
In a statement Sorgho gave his “sincere condolences to the grieving families and wishes a rapid recovery to the wounded.”
Few other details were available about the incidents, but a resident of one of the villages told AFP “a large number of terrorists” attacked late on Thursday, with gunfire sounding throughout the night.
Burkina Faso is one of the world’s poorest counties and has become the epicenter of violence carried out by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
The violence began in neighboring Mali in 2012 but has since spread across the arid expanse of the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert.
Large areas of the north and east of Burkina Faso have become ungovernable since 2018. Millions have fled their homes, fearing further raids by gunmen who frequently descend on rural communities on motorbikes. Thousands have been killed.