Suspected Jihadists Kill More Than 130 civilians in Central Mali, Officials Say


Suspected jihadists massacred more than 130 civilians over the weekend in neighboring central Mali towns, the latest mass killings in the troubled Sahel region. Local officials reported scenes of systematic killings by armed men in Diallassagou and two surrounding towns in the Bankass circle, a longtime hotbed of Sahelian violence.

The government blamed the attack on the Fulani preacher Amadou Kouffa’s organization the Macina Katiba. Central Mali has been plagued by violence since the Al Qaeda-affiliated organization emerged in 2015. A large part of the area is beyond state control and is prone to violence carried out by self-defense militias and inter-community reprisals. Since 2012, Mali has been rocked by an insurgency by groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State group, plunging the country into crisis.

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