A 66 year old priest has been shot dead by terrorists in Burkina Faso.
In a statement sent to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a local Bishop, Prosper Bonaventure Ky said Father Jacques Yaro Zerbo was murdered on Monday by “unidentified armed men”.
The priest is said to have been killed after being detained on a road between Dedougou and Gassan in the region of Boucle du Mouhoun. His murderers are said to have taken his vehicle.
Armed insurgents from neighbouring Mali have destabilised the area over the past decade – and a state of emergency was in place until last month.
Father Zerbo taught at seminaries throughout Burkina Faso and over the last few years he focused his ministry on helping young people at a centre for addicts.
One of his former students said :
“He taught with great passion, conviction, conscience and seriousness”.
A funeral service for Father Zerbo was held at St Anne’s Cathedral in Dédougou. the capital of Boucle du Mouhoun.
According to research by ACN, more than 100 priests and religious Sisters were kidnapped, arrested or killed worldwide last year.
The charity found that at least 12 priests and five religious sisters were murdered during 2022.