At least ten people were killed by armed men in the latest attack on a religious institution in the unstable West African nation of Burkina Faso on Sunday.

The assailants attacked a church in the Yagha province of the Sahel region during a religious ceremony.

They fled taking the church pastor along, Anadolu Agency reported on Monday.

On January 22, at least 36 civilians were killed by militants during an attack in villages in northern Burkina Faso.

Nearly 700 people have been killed by terrorist organisations in the last four years. As many as 270,000 people have abandoned their homes due to unrest, according to the media report.

Last year, a state of emergency was declared in several northern regions of the country, giving security forces extra powers to search homes and restrict freedom of movement.

On December 25, at least 35 civilians, most of them women were killed after Jihadists attacked a town in northern Burkina Faso.

In the same month, at least 37 people were killed and several injured after gunmen ambushed a convoy transporting workers of Canadian gold miner Semafo in eastern Burkina Faso.

Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, was hit by two deadly attacks.

Burkina Faso is an impoverished and politically fragile country in the Sahel, and its security forces are badly equipped, poorly trained and underfunded.

A number of Islamic extremist groups are known to operate in Burkina Faso, and jihadist attacks are frequent in the area.

(With inputs from agency)