Gunmen on motorbikes killed more than 40 Tuareg civilians this week in north Mali, where clashes over land and scarce water are common, an official said.
The violence compounds an already dire security situation in the desert region used by jihadist groups to launch attacks in Mali and across West Africa.
The identity of the assailants is unknown, but disputes between nomadic Tuareg and herder Fulani ethnic groups killed several hundred and displaced thousands this year.
Menaka town mayor Nanout Kotia told Reuters 43 Tuareg died in a village over the past two days.
“Armed men on motorbikes attacked nomadic campsites in Tinabaw. They shot indiscriminately at the population,” Kotia told Reuters, saying security forces was sent to the area.
Mali’s main Tuareg separatist group, the Co-ordination of Azawad Movements, said 47 Tuareg civilians were killed in Tinabaw. Nobody claimed responsibility.
Armed men killed 15 Fulani civilians in Mali’s central Mopti region earlier this month.