Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – Fatimata Lankoande was asleep in her home when a volley of gunshots woke her up.

“Everybody was scared and panicked,” said the 63-year-old. “People were running all around.”

Lankoande said the armed assailants arrived overnight on June 4-5 on three cars and more than 30 motorcycles. They first attacked workers at an informal goldmine on the outskirts of Solhan, a village in northern Burkina Faso. Later on, they went into the village market, burning shops and houses as they continued their killing spree.

“They started killing whoever they met,” said Lankoande, who has since fled to Dori, the nearest main town.

She said some aspects of what she saw were too painful to recount.

“It was the hardest moment I have lived

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