More than 51 people have been killed in northern Mali by jihadists, who attacked three villages near the border with Niger, killing and torching homes, in the latest mass attack in a region beset by violence.
Militants on motorbikes overwhelmed the villages simultaneously on Sunday evening, entering and killing indiscriminately and burning and ransacking homes, according to security officials.
“The terrorists went into the villages and massacred everyone,” a military officer told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. “More than 40 civilians were killed by terrorists on Sunday in the villages of Karou, Ouatagouna and Daoutegeft,” they said.
A Malian army patrol was sent to the affected communities on Monday. The death toll confirmed by the patrol was at least 51, according to Reuters.
“Provisional toll is 51 killed, several others injured,” read a note from the local district administrator to the Gao regional government in south-east Mali.
Another local official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity said “20 civilians were massacred in Karou. Fourteen civilians were killed in Ouatagouna, and other civilians were killed in the hamlet of Daoutegeft.”
The attacks in Mali mark the latest in a wave of deadly attacks to have beset the Sahel region in West Africa, where largely impoverished civilians in Burkina Faso and Niger have experienced constant violence for almost a decade.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Emmanuel Akinwotu