UN team to investigate 'horrific' massacre in central Mali

2019-03-27 05:24
The scene shortly after a violent attack which left at least 134 people dead and dozens more wounded in Mali. (Tabital Pulaaku via AP)

The scene shortly after a violent attack which left at least 134 people dead and dozens more wounded in Mali. (Tabital Pulaaku via AP)

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The United Nations is deploying crime-scene investigators, human rights officers and a child protection expert to central Mali to investigate intercommunal violence over the weekend that killed more than 150 people, one-third of them children.

Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani of the UN human rights office says the massacre in Ogossagou, in Mali's Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or Peuhl, community.

She said on Tuesday the "horrific attacks" signal a "spike in killings" in a cycle of violence in the region that has caused 600 deaths and displaced thousands since last March.

Shamdasani said the attacks appeared to be motivated by an effort to eliminate violent Islamic extremist groups active in Mali, but that "millions of people are being painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim".

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Read more on:    un  |  mali  |  west africa
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