Horror Scenes: 20 civilians killed as jihadists attack village

FILE: Islamic State fighters

Over 20 civilians were killed in an attack in central Mali on Saturday, a local official said on Sunday.

The attack targeted a village in the Circle of Bankass in Mopti region – one of several areas in Mali’s north and centre where jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have been waging an insurgency since 2012.

Bankass Mayor Moulaye Guindo said unidentified armed assailants attacked villagers on their way to work their fields.

“Yesterday we counted 19 deaths but today it is more than 20,” he said via telephone.

Mali’s insurgency took root during a 2012 Tuareg uprising that has since spread across the Sahel and to the north of West African costal countries.

Jihadists gained ground despite costly foreign military efforts to push them back, killing thousands and displacing millions in the process as they have attacked towns, villages and military targets.

Authorities’ failure to protect civilians have contributed to two coups in Mali, one in neighbouring Burkina Faso and one in Niger since 2020. Reuters.

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