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Mali massacre victims include 24 children, says PM

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

MALI PRIME Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga has announced that the recent massacre of almost 100 people include at least 24 children.

The horrific event was carried out by Malian ethnic militia, with many of the victims shot in the back.

According to Reuters, attackers are believed to belong to the Fulani ethnic group and they raided the rival Dogon village of Sobane Da, in central Mali, between Sunday and Monday.

They killed at least 95 people and burned down houses in an ethnic slaughter which has taken over the Saharan nation this year.

“All these victims of horror and barbarity remind us of our responsibility as leaders to reinforce and accelerate security,” said Boubou Cisse. “May the soul of these innocent victims of discord and hatred rest in peace.”

The violence between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders has resulted in the death of hundreds since January. An attack in March saw gunmen kill more than 150 Fulani - the worst act of bloodshed in recent Mali history, Reuters reports.

Amnesty International's west and central Africa director Evelyne Petrus Barry said in a statement: “This despicable killing of civilians in Mali is the latest episode of a spiral of violence which hit the country. It shows a total and utter contempt for human life.

"The growing unrest and subsequent violence reported in the center of the country are characterized by killings, enforced disappearances and burning of villages, on an appalling scale."

Malian authorities have launched a criminal investigation, and local officials say 35 bodies have so far been identified at the massacre site.

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