At least 20 civilians were killed in an attack on Thursday night in Ogossagou, a village in central Mali, local officials said on Friday.

According to the village chief, Aly Ousmane Barry, the attack was carried out during the night by around thirty armed men, a few hours after the withdrawal of the Malian army from the locality. According to him, the attackers "set fire to part of the village".

"I did the count in the presence of the military and health services. We have 20 dead, some were burnt out," added Aly Ousmane Barry.

An elected official from Ogossagou confirmed that the attack had taken place a few hours after the departure of the Malian armed forces from the area, near the border with Burkina Faso.

A region plagued by multiple violence

On March 23, 2019, the attack by armed men of this Fulani village left 160 civilians dead. Attributed to Dogon hunters, the massacre was the culmination of inter-community violence in March-April in central Mali.

This region is caught in a whirlwind of violence since 2015 and the appearance of a jihadist group affiliated to the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), led by the Peul preacher Amadou Koufa, who largely recruited among his community.

Clashes have also multiplied between the Peuls, mainly breeders, and the Bambara and Dogon ethnic groups, who mainly practice agriculture. The latter have created self-defense groups based on traditional dozo hunters.

With AFP

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