International

Attack kills more than 130 Mali villagers

London, Mar 24 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 3/24/2019 12:22:54 PM IST

More than 130 people were killed in an attack on a village in central Mali on Saturday by armed men wearing traditional Dogon hunters’ clothing.

Gunmen surrounded the village at dawn before attacking people in their homes in Ogossagou in the Mopti region.

According to BBC, the attackers targeted members of the Fulani ethnic community who are accused of having ties to jihadists.

The attack took place while UN ambassadors were in Mali to discuss increased violence. The Security Council mission met Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga to talk about the increased threat from jihadist fighters in central Mali.

The victims of Saturday’s deadly attack were “killed with guns and machetes”, a local security official told AFP news agency.

Witnesses also told AFP that nearly all the huts in the village had been burned down. The mayor of the neighbouring village of Ouenkoro, Cheick Harouna Sankare, described the attack as a “massacre”.

Clashes between Dogon hunters and semi-nomadic Fulani herders can occur over access to land and water. The Dogon also accuse Fulanis of ties to jihadist groups. The Fulanis claim that Mali’s military has armed the hunters to attack them.

Last year, hundreds of people died in clashes between Dogon hunters and members of the Fula ethnic group.

On Friday, a Mali-based al-Qaeda affiliate said it had carried out an attack last week on a military base that left more than 20 soldiers dead.

The militants said it was in response to violence against Fulani herdsmen.

One Ogossagou resident, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters news agency that Saturday’s violence appeared to be in retaliation for the attack on the soldiers.

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