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The military junta in Burkina Faso has launched an investigation into the alleged attack and killing of 16 Nigerian Muslim pilgrims who were travelling by bus for an Islamic pilgrimage to Kaolak in Senegal, by suspected Burkinabe soldiers, the country’s Foreign Minister, Olivia Rouamba, said Monday.
The Nigerian pilgrims, who were in a convoy of luxurious and mini-buses, according to witnesses, were flagged down by Burkinabe soldiers, who asked the passengers to disembark from the vehicles, randomly selected some and summarily shot them to death.
According to media reports, the Minister, during a meeting with the Nigerian ambassador to Burkina Faso, Misitura Abdulraheem, assured that “investigations are opened to clarify the situation”.
READ ALSO: Burkina Faso investigates 28 bodies discovered on New Year’s Eve.
“For the moment, no concrete information or evidence has been recorded on the ground that proves the veracity of the facts,” the Minister said in a statement.
She added that Burkina Faso “fundamentally disapproves of the accusations made against our defence and security forces”, which according to her, refers to allegations that the attackers were Army officers.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that his government will do everything possible to go after the attackers of Nigerian pilgrims.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said Nigeria was awaiting the outcome of Burkina Faso government’s investigation into the killing, before taking action.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has received the tragic news of the murder of a number Nigerian Muslim pilgrims on their way to Kaolak, Senegal, when the buses conveying them came under gun attack in Burkina Faso,” the statement reads.
“The President expressed his condolences and prayed for the safety of other Nigerians stranded there.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Nigerian Embassy in Burkina Faso, is engaging with the Burkinabe authorities and awaits the outcome of their investigation of the unfortunate incident, and if necessary, to ensure that all culprits are appropriately sanctioned.
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