Mali government says militants killed 132 civilians over the weekend

Map of Mali
Map of Mali

Recent attacks by militants in central Mali have killed 132 civilians, the government announced Monday.

The killings happened when several villages in the Bankass area were attacked on Saturday and Sunday, the government said in a statement Monday.

The government said the attacks were carried out by members of the Katiba group.

The attacks had earlier been reported by Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of Bankass, the biggest town near the attacked villages.

The attacks show that extremist violence is spreading from Mali’s north to more central areas like Bankass.

For several weeks extremist rebels in central Mali have been blocking the road between the northern city of Gao and Mopti in central Mali.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali issued a statement about the attacks on Twitter saying it is concerned by “attacks against civilians in the Bandiagara region (the area of central Mali) perpetrated by extremist groups. These attacks have reportedly caused casualties and displacement of populations.”