Burkina Faso authorities said on Tuesday they had launched an investigation into the murder of 28 people who were discovered on New Year’s Eve.

The government announced Monday that 28 bodies were found on New Year’s Eve in northwestern Burkina Faso.

He said preliminary investigations in the town of Nouna indicated that the male victims were shot to death.

According to prosecutors, the murder took place between December 30 and 31, 2022.

No details on the possible perpetrators or motivations for the attacks have yet been revealed.

For its part, the Burkina Faso Civil Society Organization claimed that armed civilians disguised as members of the National Defense Volunteers were responsible for the deadly attacks.

The VDP is a paramilitary force established in 2019 to assist the country’s military in the fight against terrorist groups.

Terrorism in Burkina Faso has spread rapidly since the 2015 ouster of President Blaise Compaore, who ruled the West African nation for 27 years until 2014.

The coup plotters killed thousands and displaced millions of Burkinabe.

In 2019, the country launched the VDP programme, which allows civilian volunteers to join Burkina Faso’s military forces to fight Daesh and Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in order to retake territories occupied by militants.

During 2022, Burkina Faso witnessed two military coups in an eight-month period caused by the government’s inability to address ongoing insecurity in the country.

In September 2022, the military captain, President Ibrahim Traore, was sworn in as head of Burkina Faso’s transitional government following a coup against Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.

Damiba also came to power in a coup in January.

However, Traore had promised to cleanse the country of “terrorist hordes”.