Mali: Dozens killed by armed group at wedding celebration

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Sources reported on Tuesday that an attack on a village in central Mali has resulted in the deaths of approximately 40 people.

Unidentified armed assailants have carried out a deadly assault on a village in insurgency-hit central Mali, resulting in the deaths of approximately 40 individuals, according to local officials who spoke on Tuesday.

The attack occurred on Monday in Djiguibombo village, situated in the Mopti region, an area long plagued by insurgent activities. "It was a very serious attack, with armed men surrounding the village and opening fire on its inhabitants," described Bankass Mayor Moulaye Guindo over the phone.

While Mayor Guindo did not specify the exact death toll, two other local officials, speaking anonymously, indicated that around 40 people had lost their lives.

Describing the scene as "carnage," one official recounted, "They surrounded the village during a wedding... There was widespread panic, some managed to escape, but many, mostly men, were killed."

The attackers remain unidentified, and no group has claimed responsibility for the assault. Attempts to obtain comment from the army spokesperson were unsuccessful.

Violence in the central Sahel region of West Africa has escalated significantly since insurgent groups gained prominence in Mali and subsequently spread into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. This instability has led to thousands of deaths and displaced millions more.

The ongoing insecurity has contributed to political upheaval, resulting in two coups in Mali, one in Burkina Faso, and another in Niger since 2020.