The government of Burkina Faso has reported that the bodies of 28 persons who were shot to death have been found in the town of Nouna in the country’s northwest.
The killings were attributed by a civil society organization to armed citizens who claimed to be part of a government-supported volunteer squad battling Islamists.
The administration stated it was looking into the claim but made no comments.
A decade-long insurrection in Burkina Faso has caused over two million people to flee their homes.
Since the military took over in Burkina Faso in January of last year, attacks have not stopped despite promises to the contrary.
According to the administration, the bodies were found on December 30 and 31.
In the meanwhile, while an inquiry was being conducted, it criticized the “unacceptable violence” and urged restraint.
The tragedy had happened at a time when the administration had started “mobilizing the entire population for unity of action in the battle against terrorism,” it was further said.
To combat radical Islamists, the government established the Homeland Defence Volunteers (VDP) and enlisted civilians in its ranks.
According to the Collective Against Impunity and Stigmatization of Communities (CISC), armed civilians who claimed to be VDP members carried out the killings between December 29 and 30 in retribution for an attack by alleged militants.
Its assertion is not supported by any independent research.