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Survivors of Karma massacre recount ordeal

Daouda Belem (centre), spokesperson for Karma residents   -  
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Burkina Faso

Residents and survivors of the Karma massacre in Burkina Faso on April 20th recounted their experience at a press conference north of the capital Ouagadougou.

"Babies died on the backs of their executed mothers. The carnage lasted more than 6 hours before the soldiers left the village for Dinguiri. The survivors were able to leave after their departure, while some of the wounded were transported to the CHUR (regional hospital, ed) of Ouahigouya by the survivors, others could not be evacuated and succumbed to their injuries", said Daouda Belem, spokesperson for Karma residents.

In total, 147 people were killed in Karma, including 28 women, 45 children from 9 days old to 14 years old, and 9 wounded. In the surrounding villages, 9 people were killed, all men", added the spokesman. 

On Friday, a human rights group announced the number of victims was more than double the official figure of 60 deaths.

"When I came home, some of the men saw the turn of events and went indoors. They came in and took them out. From inside our houses, we could hear our husbands screaming in pain from the beatings they were receiving... before they executed them. After they killed them, they came back to take out my husband who was ill and was in the house and shot him just in front of the yard", recalled Aminata Kindo, survivor of the Karma massacre.

Burkina Faso's armed forces face an Islamist insurgency by groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group who swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

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