Nearly 4,600 people have died in West Africa during the first half of this year due to terrorist attacks.
Regional official Omar Touray reported the numbers to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. He says the extreme violence displaced 6.2 million people and left 30 million in need of humanitarian aid.
Islamic extremists are behind many of the attacks, and more than 2,700 of the attacks occurred in the Burkina Faso region. Notably, Jihadist groups have previously attacked military convoys and blocked traders from bringing food into the area.
The instability has made the region a hotbed for terrorists, enabling them to spread further west into Africa.
There were over 800 attacks in Mali, 77 in Niger, and 70 in Nigeria during the first six months of the year. Persecution.org notes that “Christians are especially vulnerable and singled out as “infidels” or “western crusaders.””