Three civilians shot dead in Mali

2015-06-04 21:19

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Three civilians have been killed over two days in Mali's conflict-hit northern desert, local government and security sources told AFP on Thursday.

Two were gunned down in the Timbuktu region on Wednesday and Thursday while while another was shot dead in the neighbouring region of Gao on Wednesday, the sources said.

The Gao victim was a haulier who had been kidnapped on Monday near the flashpoint town of Menaka, seized from rebels by pro-government fighters in April in an operation which has sparked numerous violations of a ceasefire agreement in the area.

"We found his body on Wednesday. He was murdered. He was an ordinary man who was very popular in Menaka, and wasn't involved in poiltics," a local government official told AFP, adding that the victim had no known enemies.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for any of the killings but Mali's Tuareg-led rebel alliance, the Co-ordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), blamed pro-government militias "and their cronies in MUJAO" for the Gao attack.

MUJAO - the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa - was a jihadist group active in the area before it merged in 2013 with the Signatories in Blood to form a new Islamist militia, Al-Murabitoun.

Another civilian was shot dead from a car on Wednesday near Goundam, a town of around 16 000 about 100km southwest of the ancient caravan city of Timbuktu, according to a local official.

Renewed fighting

This area, too, has seen a recent upsurge in violence, culminating in the killing of eight Malian soldiers in May by CMA rebels.

A foreign security source announced the killing of the third civilian further north in the same region.

"A 40-year-old civilian was shot dead on Thursday by gunmen around 30km north of Timbuktu," the source told AFP.

Renewed fighting over the last month between rebels and loyalist fighters has led to the displacement of 57 000 people fleeing violence or forced recruitment, according to the UN's refugee agency.

There are now 100 000 people internally displaced in the impoverished west African nation's northern desert, the UNHCR announced on May 29.

Rights campaigners have denounced the alleged summary executions by pro-government forces in May of six civilians including a 13-year-old boy and an aid worker in the Gao region.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  cma  |  mujao  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.