Armed Attack in Central Mali Village Leaves 40 Dead

Around 40 people were killed in a brutal attack on a village in central Mali, local officials confirmed on Tuesday.

The assault took place Monday evening in Djiguibombo, located in the troubled Mopti region. This area has experienced ongoing violence from militant groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) for over a decade.

“It was a horrifying attack; the gunmen surrounded the village and opened fire on the residents,” said Moulaye Guindo, mayor of nearby Bankass town, to Reuters.

Guindo did not specify the number of casualties, but two local officials, speaking anonymously, indicated that about 40 people lost their lives.

“It was a massacre. The attackers encircled the village during a wedding celebration … There was chaos, some managed to flee, but many, mostly men, were killed,” one official reported.

A local youth representative told AFP that the attack began before nightfall and lasted for approximately three hours.

“Many villagers fled towards Bandiagara. Those who remained could not properly bury the dead,” he said.

The identity of the attackers remains unknown, and no group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Militant groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL have operated in Mali since 2015, capturing territories and causing widespread instability.

The violence, initially concentrated in the north, spread to central Mali in 2015 with the rise of Katiba Macina, an al-Qaeda affiliate led by Fulani preacher Amadou Kouffa.

In 2020, a military government came to power following a coup, pledging to combat the escalating insecurity. Despite these promises, attacks continue unabated, and the military has faced allegations of human rights abuses from international organizations.

In December, the United Nations mission in Mali, known as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), ended its ten-year deployment following a withdrawal order from Mali’s military government.

Since the coup, Mali’s military leaders have severed ties with France and European partners, turning instead to Russia for political and military support.

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