At least 21 civilians reportedly killed in central Mali attack
Gunmen killed at least 21 civilians in an attack on a village in central Mali's insurgency-hit Mopti region on Friday, two local sources said on Saturday.
The unidentified assailants struck in the afternoon, targeting the village of Yarou near the town of Bandiagara, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It was real carnage, armed men burst into the village and fired on people. The toll is heavy between 20 and 30 killed and wounded," one of the sources said by phone.
The second source said the reported death toll stood at 21 and included women, while 11 others were wounded.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The West African nation is battling a violent insurgency with links to al-Qaeda and Islamic State that took root in its arid north following a Tuareg separatist rebellion in 2012.
Militants have since spread to other countries in the Sahel region south of the Sahara, seizing territory, killing thousands and uprooting millions of people in the process.
(Cover: A foot soldier of the 2nd Mechanized Company of the Senegalese Battalion of the MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali) patrols in the destroyed Fulani village of Sadia Peulh, Mali, July 5, 2019. /CFP)