Mali: Terrorists kill 132 villagers in weekend attack
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA): Suspected terrorists raided several villages in central Mali over the weekend, killing at least 132 civilians, the government confirmed Monday.
The attack occurred on Saturday overnight and targeted the villages of Diallassagou, Dianweli, Deguessagou and surrounding areas in the Bankass circle, according to a government statement.
“The cumulative death toll stands at 132 civilians. The attack is attributed to members of the Katiba du Macina (Macina Liberation Front) of (Fulani preacher) Amadou Kouffa, several of whom, among the perpetrators, have been formally identified,” the statement said.
Local media said the assailants also looted livestock and burned shops and homes as well as motorcycles.
The government condemned the attacks and abuses perpetrated against civilians and reassured that “all measures will be taken to find and bring the perpetrators of these criminal acts to justice.”
It also reiterated that the safety and protection of people and their property remain its top priority.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) expressed concern late Sunday about attacks against civilians in the Bandiagara region by extremist groups.
MINUSMA said it had immediately contacted the civilian and military authorities and planned to send a support mission to protect civilians and stabilize the area.
Earlier on Sunday, a MINUSMA peacekeeper on patrol was killed in the latest explosion in northern Mali’s Kidal region.
Since 2012, Mali has been battling regular attacks orchestrated by militants in northern and central Mali targeting soldiers and civilians.
By James Tasamba