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It has been nearly 24hours since a Catholic Church in Burkina Faso was attacked by terrorists during Mass and 6people were killed.

A security source told the agency that the attack was carried out by a "group of armed men estimated [to number] between twenty and thirty". "They started firing as the congregation tried to flee", said the town mayor, Ousmane Zongo, according to AFP.

On April 29, gunmen attacked a Protestant church, killing a pastor and four worshippers in Silgadji near Djibo, which was the first attack on a church, France 24 reports.

Mr Zongo added: "They burned down the church, then shops and a small restaurant before going to the health centre where they searched the premises and set fire to the head nurse's vehicle". People are holed up at home. The shops and stores are closed.

A priest was among those killed in the church attack. "It's practically a ghost town".

"There was no sign of any threat to this town", the resident told the radio network. A number of jihadist groups are known to operate the area.

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

One of the French hostages, Laurent Lassimouillas said: "All our thoughts go out to the families of the soldiers and to the soldiers".

A priest has been killed in the latest violent attack perpetrated against the Christian community of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso has been beset by a rise in attacks in 2018 as groups with links to the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda based in neighbouring Mali seek to extend their influence over the porous borders of the Sahel, the arid scrubland south of the Sahara.

In February, CNN reported that the U.S. was considering sending additional military advisers as well as intelligence and surveillance assets such as drones to Burkina Faso to help combat a growing terrorist threat.