At least 180 bodies were discovered in suspected extrajudicial killings in northern Burkina Faso, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.
A majority of the bodies were found dumped along highways, under bridges, and in fields outside Djibo town. A few were discovered in the town between November and June, the rights group said.
“Existing information points toward government security forces, so it’s critical to have impartial investigations, evidence properly gathered, and families informed about what happened to their loved ones,” HRW said.
Burkina Faso, Minister of Defence Moumina Cheriff Sy blamed the killings on jihadist groups who may have used stolen army uniforms and logistical equipment.
Burkina Faso has been battling militant groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State since 2017. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and almost a million displaced by the conflict, which is also affecting neighbours Niger and Mali.