Mali prisoner killings decried as ‘summary executions’

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Fourteen suspected jihadists killed during an alleged escape attempt by Mali troops were “summarily executed,” community leaders told AFP on Sunday.

“This was in no way an escape attempt. Our sources are certain. These people were victims of summary executions,” Nouhoum Sarr of Tabital Pulaaku, the main association of Mali’s Dogon community, told AFP.

“We have the names of these people,” added Sarr, saying the group were detained on April 5 near the central town of Dioura.

On Friday, a Malian army statement said the 14 were killed during an escape bid on April 6 after they were taken in for questioning the previous day.

“It is not normal for soldiers tasked with protecting the population to kill civilians,” said Sarr, who said Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly had personally assured him that he would “shed light” on the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Two relatives of some of those killed have also alleged that they were summarily executed.

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