An attack on a mosque in eastern Burkina Faso has killed dozens of Muslims on the same day as another deadly attack on Catholics attending mass, local and security sources told AFP on Monday.

“Armed individuals attacked a mosque in Natiaboani on Sunday around 5:00 am, resulting in several dozen being killed,” a security source said.

“The victims were all Muslims, most of them men” who had come for morning prayers, a local resident said by telephone.

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Another local source said “The terrorists entered the town early morning. They surrounded the mosque and shot at the faithful, who were gathered there for the first prayer of the day.”

“Several of them were shot, including an important religious leader,” the source added.

Soldiers and members of the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP), a civilian force that supports the military, were also targeted “by these hordes who came in large numbers”, the same source said.

The source described it as a “large-scale attack” in terms of the number of assailants, who also wreaked substantial damage.

Natiaboani is a rural community about 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Fada N’Gourma, the main town in Burkina’s eastern region, which has seen regular attacks by armed groups since 2018.

On the same day as the attack on the mosque, at least 15 civilians were killed and two others injured during an attack on a Catholic church during Sunday mass in northern Burkina Faso, a senior church official said.

Jean-Pierre Sawadogo, vicar of the Dori diocese, said in a statement that the “terrorist attack” occurred in the village of Essakane while people were gathered for Sunday prayer.

Essakane village is in what is known as the “three borders” zone in the northeast of the country, near the common borders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.