MALI - Nearly 100 people are killed by gunmen in an overnight massacre in a Malian village
Nearly 100 Mali villagers are killed by 'pillaging and burning' gunmen in overnight raid amid wave of violence linked to jihadists. The village in central Mali was 'virtually wiped out' in the attack on Sunday night. At least 95 people have died and officials are still looking for more burned bodies. The attack appears to be the latest in a wave of tit-for-tat ethnic violence in Mali
Nearly 100 people were killed by gunmen in an overnight massacre in a Mali village, amid a wave of violence linked to jihadists.
A village in central Mali was 'virtually wiped out' by attackers who targeted the traditional Dogon community, security sources said.
A local official said the raiders came and 'started shooting, pillaging and burning' during their violent attack.
'Right now we have 95 dead civilians. The bodies are burned, we are continuing to look for others,' they said.
The village had about 300 inhabitants, the official said.
The attack appears to be the latest incident in a cycle of violence in central Mali, an ethnic mosaic.
The tit-for-tat began when a predominantly Fulani jihadist group led by preacher Amadou Koufa surfaced in the region and started targeting the Bambara and Dogon ethnic groups.
The Fulani, also known as Peul, are primarily cattle breeders and traders, while the Bambara and Dogon are traditionally sedentary farmers.
On May 16, the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) announced it had recorded 'at least 488 deaths' in attacks since January 2018.
In the bloodiest raid, about 160 Fulani villagers were slaughtered in March at Ogossagou, near the border with Burkina Faso, by suspected Dogon hunters.
MINUSMA said that, also since January 2018, armed Fulanis had 'caused 63 deaths' among civilians in the Mopti region.
Koufa in March 2017 joined the newly-formed Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the leading jihadist alliance in the Sahel region, with links to Al-Qaeda. Its leader is Iyad Ag Ghaly.