More than 130 civilians killed in attacks by suspected jihadists

IIn Mali, more than 130 civilians have been killed in attacks by suspected jihadists. Armed men killed 132 people in Diallassagou and two surrounding towns in the center of the country in the night from Saturday to Sunday, the government said on Monday. She blamed the Islamist group Katiba Macina, which is allied with the terrorist militia al-Qaeda, for the crimes.

Local officials reported an outright massacre with the systematic killing of dozens of civilians. “They have also burned shacks and houses and stolen livestock – there is real anarchy,” said an official who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons. The exact number of deaths was therefore determined on Monday.

Nouhoum Togo, leader of a party in the nearby town of Bankass, told AFP that clashes with jihadists broke out during army operations in the area two weeks ago. The extremists then returned on several dozen motorcycles to take revenge on the population. According to him, the attacks happened on Friday.

Two million displaced

Mali has been plagued by jihadist violence for years. An Islamist uprising began in the country in 2012 and spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger. Several thousand soldiers and civilians have already been killed in the conflict and two million people have been displaced from their homes. Mali’s poorly equipped army, which has been led by a military government since 2020, has repeatedly been accused of human rights abuses.

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