An attack by gunmen on a church in eastern Burkina Faso during mass on Sunday December 1st has left at least 14 people dead, according to an anonymous local official and a security source.
The attack occurred in the village of Foutouri in the Est region, an area historically known for banditry, Reuters reported.
"Unidentified armed men" carried out the attack during a Sunday service at a Protestant church in the town of Hantoukoura near the border with Niger, the government statement said.
The attack left 14 dead, including teenagers and many wounded. The identity of the gunmen is still unknown.
The timing of the incident, during mass, reflects other attacks on Christians this year, a new phenomenon in a West African country that has long prided itself on its religious tolerance.
In November, gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying mine workers in the Est region, killing 39 people.
Also in November, the Burkina Faso army said that it had killed 32 terrorists in two operations in the north of the country. One soldier had been killed.
Attacks in Burkina Faso, which borders Mali and Niger, began in the north but spread to the east and the west of the country in 2018, according to AFP.
Most of the violence is attributed to extremists affiliated with Al-Qaeda or Isis group, with around 500,000 people internally displaced by attacks, according to the UN.