At least 30 people, including nine soldiers, were reportedly killed in the village of Ogossagou, Bankass circle in the central Mopti region of Mali in a spate of attacks by the Gunmen, confirmed the government.
According to the reports, the attackers scorched the homes and looted livestock in the inter-ethnic violence in the village, mainly inhabited by the Faluni group of West Africa. Aly Ousmane Barry, the village chief, reportedly confirmed that the attack was carried out by at least 30 gunmen.
The government of Mali reportedly condemned the attack, saying it will investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. Malian government spokesman, Yaya Sangare, told the media that based on a provisional tally, the authorities have found that 21 civilians have been killed in the malignant attack and several remain missing.
Sangare said that huts and crops were set ablaze, livestock was charred or abducted. Aly Ousmane Barry said that the perpetrators made it inside the territory several hours after the military troops had pulled out of the area, confirmed reports.
An official on account of anonymity told the international media that at least 28 civilians went missing. He further added that the traditional Dogon hunter’s Group might be held responsible for the massacre. However, the claims remain unverified.
Last Friday, eight Mali soldiers were reportedly killed in an ambush, while four were injured in the central Gao region, army personnel confirmed to the media. The military said on the Social Media site that the Malian forces suffered huge material damage, they, however, did not confirm who carried out the attack.
According to the media reports, Human Rights Watch had pointed to the ethnic patchwork of central Mali as the country's epicenter of violence and held the feeble governance responsible for the chronic instability in the region.
In a separate development, a soldier was reportedly killed in an attack on Mondoro military camp, also in Central Mali. The security personnel told the media that the camp had been hit in the past in a joint raid by militants that targeted a military camp of Boulkessy near the border with Burkina Faso, killing at least 25 military personnel.
(With inputs from AP)