23 civilians killed in central Mali villages: mayor, security source

accreditation
United Nations forces in Mali. (Michele Cattani, AFP)
United Nations forces in Mali. (Michele Cattani, AFP)

At least 23 civilians have been killed in attacks on villages in troubled central Mali by armed men, a local mayor and a Malian security source said on Monday.

"During Sunday, and overnight, in the villages of Bidi, Sankoro and Saran, armed men attacked civilians, killing 23 of them," Cheick Harouna Sankare, mayor of the neighbouring town of Ouenkoro, told AFP. 

"The situation is serious, the army needs to act to reassure the population," he said, adding that an emergency meeting had been called.

The death toll was confirmed by a security source in Mali.

Separately, 11 people died when an explosive device blew up near the central town of Koro close to the border with Burkina Faso, a local official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Ethnic tensions in the centre of the country have surged since a jihadist group led by preacher Amadou Koufa emerged in 2015. 

The group recruit mainly from among the Fulani -- primarily cattle breeders and traders -- and they have clashed with the Dogon and Bambara -- traditionally sedentary farmers who have formed their own self-defence militias.

There has been a wave of mass killings this year, including the massacre of 41 people in two ethnic Dogon villages on June 17, according to a UN count.

And in March, 160 Fulani were killed in an attack on a village by suspected rival militiamen.

Unrest in the central region coincides with an ongoing jihadist campaign that the Mali government is struggling to contain despite military help from France and the United Nations.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
70% - 12734 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
30% - 5422 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.71
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.78
+1.0%
Rand - Euro
17.84
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.27
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+1.0%
Gold
1,786.58
+0.1%
Silver
22.48
-0.1%
Palladium
1,864.63
+0.6%
Platinum
963.50
+0.6%
Brent Crude
75.44
+3.1%
Top 40
65,993
-0.8%
All Share
72,404
-0.7%
Resource 10
68,624
-2.2%
Industrial 25
95,800
-0.2%
Financial 15
14,289
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE