OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — At least 14 people were shot dead in an attack on a church in eastern Burkina Faso on Sunday morning, the government said.

The identities of the gunmen were not immediately clear, nor were additional details about the attack, which took place in the village of Hantoukoura near the border with Niger in the Est region. Burkina Faso’s armed forces were caring for the wounded and searching the area, the government said in a statement.

This year an Islamist insurgency has ignited ethnic and religious tensions in Burkina Faso, rendering large parts of the country ungovernable, especially in northern areas bordering restive Mali.

The violence Sunday occurred in an area known for banditry that has come under attack over the past year from suspected jihadist groups with to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Its timing, during hours of worship, mirrored other attacks on Christians this year — a new phenomenon in a West African country that has long prided itself on its religious tolerance.

On Nov. 6 gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying mine workers in the Est region, killing 39.

Orignially published in NYT.

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