BAMAKO: More than 20 Tuareg civilians were killed late last week in Mali’s restive frontier with Niger, security sources told AFP on Monday.
“On Friday and Saturday at least 25 Tuareg civilians were killed in Amalaoulaou by armed men,” a local elected official told AFP. A security source and another local official confirmed the incident.
The attackers came on motorcycles “and fired indiscriminately at residents, their faces hidden behind their turbans,” the first elected official said.
A Malian security official said: “The assailants killed at least 25 civilians in a well-planned attack.”
Another local official said the dead came from the same Tuareg clan and described the attackers as “jihadists”.
A mainly Tuareg group called Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), which is now fighting jihadists in the region, said seven civilians including an old man died in the attack.
On September 25, 27 people were killed in a similar attack west of Menaka, the main city in the region.
About 200 people, many of them civilians from the Fulani and Tuareg tribes, have been killed in the area this year.
Militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) have been clashing with local groups backing a French security force and the Malian army.