13 civilians killed in Mali attack

Bamako, Feb 25 (IANS): At least 13 civilians were killed and three others wounded during a raid on a village in central Mali by armed men, local media reported, citing witnesses.

In a video posted by a news website, crackling automatic weapons could be heard as the village of Kani-Bonzon was set on fire, Xinhua news agency reported.

The attack and casualties were confirmed by Amadou Yaro, president of the Bankass Circle Council, who said the governor of the region went to the scene at night to support the victims of "this barbaric attack".

"It is horrible what we have just seen. It is a cowardly, barbaric and inhumane attack on this village, which was completely burned down with motorcycles and granaries also burned to ashes," Yaro added.

A local official from Bandiagara, a nearby town, told Xinhua that this attack was predictable as "9 of the 12 communes in the Bankass circle have pledged allegiance to the terrorists. Kani-Bonzon is one of the villages that have not pledged allegiance."

Residents took to the streets in Bandiagara on Friday to denounce the attack and demand more security.

Since 2012, Mali has been plagued by insurgencies, jihadi incursions and inter-community violence that have left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.


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