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Ethnic violence kills women and children in Mali

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/25/19, 11:11 am

More than 130 people died in a weekend attack on an ethnic Peulh village in central Mali. It was the deadliest instance yet of recent ethnic and jihadi violence. Attackers wielding guns and machetes targeted the village of Ogossagou in the central Mopti region. The casualties included “pregnant women, young children, and the elderly,” said Abdoul Aziz Diallo, president of a Peulh Fulani group known as Tabital Pulaaku. The United Nations confirmed at least 134 people died and dozens of others sustained injuries. The militants also attacked the nearby Peulh village of Welingara, Moulaye Guindo, mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, told Reuters.

Witnesses said the attackers dressed as traditional Dogon hunters. Members of the Dogon group accuse the Peulhs of supporting jihad, while the Peulhs say the Dogon support the Malian army’s attacks on them. The head of the Dogon militia blamed for the massacre denied any involvement.

The weekend violence occurred as UN Security Council ambassadors met with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to discuss increased jihadi threat in central Mali. A Mali-based al-Qaeda affiliate on Friday claimed responsibility for a recent attack on an army base that killed at least 23 soldiers.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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