Almost 100 killed in Mali village attack, official says

At least 95 people were killed in a central Mali village on Sunday the government said

At least 95 people were killed in a central Mali village on Sunday the government said

Almost 100 people were killed in a gruesome overnight attack on a village in central Mali, in the latest violence to strike the fragile region, authorities said on Monday.

An ethnic Dogon militia was blamed for that attack on the Peuhl village of Ogossagou that killed more than 150 people in March.

Just a week earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had warned of a "high risk" of atrocities and called on the government to strengthen its response to extremist groups.

Rivalries between Dogon and Fulani ethnic groups had led to massacres in the past.

A Malian security source at the site of the massacre said "a Dogon village has been virtually wiped out".

"The government of Mali presents its deepest condolences to mourning families and assures all measures will be taken to arrest and punish the authors of this carnage", Mali's communications ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"Over the recent months, violence has reached unprecedented [levels] amid retaliatory attacks and serious violations of human rights in central Mali impacting on all communities", U.N. Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng warned in March.

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The Sunday night raid took place in the Sangha district in eastern Mali where Fulanis from the neighbouring Bankass district attacked a Dogon village at nightfall, Bankass mayor Moulaye Guindo told Reuters. Youssouf Toloba, who leads the Dogon militia known as Dan Na Ambassagou, has denied that his fighters carried out the March bloodshed that left at least 157 people dead.

On Monday a prominent group representing the Peuhl community, Tabital Pulaaku, issued a statement blaming the "cycle of violence" on the absence of state authority and impunity for perpetrators of attacks.

The Fulani, in their turn, suspect the Dogons of having close ties with Mali's military.

The violence in central Mali is characterized by "killings, enforced disappearances and burning of villages on an appalling scale", Amnesty International said Monday. "The availability of weapons of war and the pretext of fighting jihadist groups have opened the floodgates to a level of ethnic-based violence that is without precedent in the region".

"No-one was spared-women, children, elderly people", he added.

Associated Press Writer Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal, contributed this report.

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