23 killed in attack on central Mali village: local mayor

A member of the Malian Army (Fama), is seen at the military base in Anderamboukane, Menaka region, on March 22, 2019. (Photo by Agnes COUDURIER / AFP) (Photo credit should read AGNES COUDURIER/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A member of the Malian Army (Fama), is seen at a military base. (Photo credit AGNES COUDURIER/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 23 people were killed and 300 others were reported missing following an attack on Saran village in central Mali on Sunday, according to the mayor of a neighbouring town.

Harouna Sankare, of Ouenkoro town, said that the attackers then proceeded to another village called Bidi and burnt houses and attacked cattle after discovering that its inhabitants had already run away.

Sankare blamed the deadly attack on Dogon hunters, who have clashed with Fulani herders over land and natural resources.

However, tensions have risen sharply this year due to the presence of armed Islamist groups.

In March, more than 150 Fulani, including women and children, were killed and many others injured by suspected Dogon militiamen following an attack on a village in the Mopti region of central Mali.

In June, local and government officials said suspected Fulani attackers raided Sobanou-Kou village, a Dogon village, in central Mali overnight and killed at least 95 people and burnt houses.

In December 2018, Human Rights Watch released a report in which they warned of an increase in communal violence after it collated more than 200 civilian deaths in the same year.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has previously appealed to all Malian stakeholders to show restraint and refrain from retaliatory acts. Guterres has also urged the government and all actors to engage in intercommunal dialogue to resolve tensions and differences.