Gunmen kill six during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso

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Gunmen killed six people including a priest outside a Catholic church in Burkina Faso yesterday, the government said, the second attack on Christians in two weeks in a nation increasingly overrun by jihadists.

"Armed individuals burst into the Catholic church..."

The attack happened at about 9 worshippers were gathering for Sunday Mass at a Catholic Church in the village of Dablo, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Kaya in the country's north, close to the volatile border with Mali.

The militants also set fire to a nearby shops and a health centre, a government official told the BBC. "It's practically a ghost town".

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi mentioned Burkina Faso this month in a video appearance after a five-year silence, praising militant groups in the nation for pledging allegiance to his group and asserting that they would take "revenge for their brothers in Iraq and Syria". Attacks have included the kidnapping of foreigners. In that message, Macron also identified the rescued hostages as French tourists Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas - who were abducted May 1 in Benin.

The raids began in 2015 in the north before targeting the capital Ouagadougou and other regions, notably in the east.

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In Iraq, a debate has been raging in recent months over the fate of some 5,200 U.S. troops stationed across the country. The US State Department on Thursday warned Iran that any attacks against US interests would incur US response.

Violent organisations include the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Religious leaders are not the only people targeted by the extremists.

Another attack on a Christian church in the region last month after Sunday services left six dead, including a pastor.

While it is not yet clear who abducted the group and why, Burkina Faso - once considered a beacon of calm in the otherwise terror-teeming region - has been a growing hotbed for some time.

The attacks took place in Dablo located in the Sanmatenga Province in the country's center.