Mali village attacked, 15 dead


Fifteen civilians from the Fulani community were killed when armed men from a rival ethnic group attacked their village in central Mali, a regional governor said.

Communal violence in the West African country killed hundreds of civilians and displaced thousands this year, compounding a dire security situation in the north, where attacks by jihadist groups are common.

Mali’s central Mopti region suffered the worst of the ethnic clashes, according to the United Nations. Mopti Governor Sidi Alassane Toure said the latest attack was last Wednesday.

Toure told state radio a disarmament programme launched last month in northern regions would be expanded to curb violence. “It will be launched in the coming days and we dare to hope all bearers of arms will lay down their arms,” he said.

Islamist militants seized Mali’s desert north in 2012. French forces intervened the following year to wrest control, but fighters with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have since regrouped.

They tap into ethnic rivalries to recruit new members and their frequent attacks in Mali and nearby countries alarm Western powers.