At least 70 killed in attack on northern Burkina Faso village on Nov. 5 -prosecutor

DAKAR (Reuters) -At least 70 civilians have been killed, mainly elderly people and children, in an attack on a village in northern Burkina Faso earlier this month, a prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.

Unidentified assailants attacked the village of Zaongo in Burkina Faso’s northern Centre-North region on Nov. 5, killing residents and setting property on fire.

A judicial team sent to investigate on Nov. 11 found that at least 70 people had died. Most of the victims were children and elderly, a state prosecutor said in a statement.

The exact number of deaths, injured and missing has yet to be determined, it added.

“The authors of these atrocities remain unknown. Investigations are ongoing,” the statement said.

The European Union on Sunday called on authorities to shed light on the massacre of “nearly a hundred” civilians in the village of Zaongo.

Burkina Faso is one of several West African countries battling a bloody jihadist insurgency that took root in neighbouring Mali in 2012.

Violence has spread across the Sahel region and more recently to coastal countries as militants seize territory despite military operations to push them back. Thousands have been killed and more than six million have fled their homes.

(Reporting by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Grant McCool)