Several dozen people, predominantly women and children, were killed on Wednesday during an armed attack in the village of Zaongo in the Central-North region. The perpetrators and the motive behind this massacre remain unknown. The government has not issued any official statements regarding this tragedy.
Images circulating on social media depict women and children, most of whom bear bullet wounds on their bodies. The massacre took place in Zaongo, in the Central-North region. “The village had been under the control of armed terrorist groups since 2021. It was one of the few that had not been evacuated,” according to residents.
One suggested explanation for this attack is that, with the young people having fled the village, there were no longer any able-bodied individuals to maintain control over the community. The remaining villagers reportedly refused to host the Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP) to help secure the area against the jihadists.
Some rumors, as per accounts from residents of neighboring villages, suggested that Zaongo had collaborated with the terrorists operating in the region. “These inhabitants were suspected by neighboring villages of being collaborators of the terrorist groups,” stated a resident. “There was an attack not far from the village two days before the massacre, and during the pursuit of the terrorists, the Defense and Security Forces passed through that area,” explained another source without providing further details.
For now, the authors and motives behind this tragedy remain uncertain. Official authorities have not issued any official communications on the matter. Several unofficial security sources, however, confirm the killing of civilian populations in this village.