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Mali: 37 villagers killed in armed attack

ETHNIC CLASHES: A Fulani villager leads his flock to the banks of the Niger River

THIRTY-SEVEN VILLAGERS have been killed during an armed attack in Mali.

The village raid took place on Tuesday January 1.

The attackers were dressed in traditional Donzo hunter attire and stormed the village of Koulogon in Mali’s central Mopti region, Reuters reported the government has said.

The victims of Tuesday’s killings were Fulani civilians, including some children.

Moulage Guindo, the mayor of Bankass, the town closest to where the killings took place, said the ambush happened around the time of the first call to prayer of the new year, Reuters reported.

Allaye Yattara, a Fulani villager, told AFP news agency: "Our village chief Moussa Diallo was killed, along with members of his family, including a young girl.”

According to reports, seven people have since been arrested in connection to the deaths.

On Twitter, Soumeylou B Maiga, Mali’s prime minister, said: “It is with dismay that I learned of the tragic incidents at Mopti. We will track down the perpetrators of these despicable acts aimed to undermine the efforts of [president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita] and government to bring peace between our communities.

Ongoing rivalries and clashes between different ethnic groups in the country and the threat of terrorism has weakened stability and security.

The Foreign Office is currently advising against all travel to the provinces of Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao and Mopti, where the attack is reported to have taken place. It also warns against travel to parts of provinces of Kayes, Koulikoro and Segou.

With reference to the rest of Mali, the Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel.

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mali, including kidnaps. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning.”

Travellers to the country are advised to be vigilant, especially in public places.

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