Gunmen killed at least 160 people in an attack in Burkina Faso’s violence-ridden north on Friday night, the government said.

The gunmen attacked the village of Solhan in Yagha province, which borders Niger. They burned homes and the village market. This is the deadliest attack in Burkina Faso in years.

While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, local officials and government spokesman Ousseni Tamboura are blaming the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).

Burkina Faso troops
Burkina Faso troops lead the way for French Barkhane forces during Operation Bourgou IV, November 2019. (État-major des Armées)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “outraged” by the killings and offered the UN’s “full support.” He condemned “the heinous attack” and called on countries to step up the fight against “violent extremism.”

The UN “strongly condemns the heinous attack and underscores the urgent need for the international community to redouble support to the Member States in the fight against violent extremism and its unacceptable human toll,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a released statement.

Burkina Faso Struggles to Contain Islamic Attacks

Local hospitals are overwhelmed and are urgently requesting medical aid. Because of the sheer number of wounded, the death toll continues to rise.

A local source told AFP the assailants stuck at approximately 2 a.m. against a position of the Volunteers for the Defence of the Motherland (VDP), a civilian defense force that backs the national army.

The attackers swept easily through them and then attacked homes and carried out “executions,” the source said.