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UN seeks urgent support for refugees after deadly Burkina Faso attack

THE U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) called for urgent support to some 16,000 newly displaced people who fled one of Burkina Faso’s deadliest militant attacks last weekend that left at least 100 people dead.

Soldiers have recovered 86 bodies since the attack on Saturday night in the northern province of Seno, the government said, although sources told Reuters that at least 100 people had died and possibly many more.

The government said in a statement it was investigating whether some bodies had been taken away or buried by families.

It was the deadliest attack in at least a year in the West African country, which is battling an insurgency by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“UNHCR is alarmed at the recent escalation of violence against civilians by armed groups in Burkina Faso that has forced thousands to flee, placing humanitarian resources under strain as insecurity continues to plague the central Sahel,” spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh told reporters.

He said that since June 12, thousands of mostly women and children have arrived in the town of Dori in eastern Burkina Faso, after fleeing the attack.