by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Islamic militants murdered 132 civilians in central Mali over the weekend, in attacks that exemplify the spread of jihadist violence from the north of the country to the center, the Associated Press reports.
The UN peace-keeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has reported that several hundred civilians have been killed in northern and central Mali by Jihadi rebels as well as the Malian army since the beginning of the year.
The government of Mali announced Monday that the killings on Saturday and Sunday were carried out by Islamist militants from the Katiba group during attacks on a number of villages in the Bankass area in central Mali, AP reports. Local authorities declared a three-day period of mourning starting on Tuesday.
In a website statement about the deaths, the UN peace-keeping mission said: “MINUSMA has learned with dismay of the attacks by extremist groups on several villages in the Bandiagara region of Central Mali on 18 and 19 June 2022. More than 100 civilians were killed, and several homes and shops were burned. These attacks also led to the forced displacement of several hundred civilians.”
According to the MINUSMA statement, dozens of civilians were also killed in the Gao region, with many people fleeing their homes to escape the violence.
“MINUSMA strongly condemns these heinous acts, which constitute serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law… MINUSMA will investigate the precise circumstances of these attacks. This will support the relevant Malian authorities in their efforts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of these heinous acts.” the UN statement added.
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