Recent attacks from jihadist rebels in the center of Mali claimed the lives of at least 132 civiliansreported the local government.
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The killings occurred when several villages in the area of Bankass They were attacked on Saturday and Sunday, the government said in a statement.
The government added that the attacks were carried out by jihadist rebels from the Katiba group.
The attacks had previously been revealed by Moulaye Guindomayor of Bankass, the largest town near the attacked villages.
What happened shows that Islamic extremist violence is spreading from northern Mali to more central areas, such as Bankass.
For several weeks, extremist rebels in central Mali have blocked the highway between the northern city of Gao and Mopti in the center of the country.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali posted a statement on Twitter saying it is concerned about “attacks on civilians in the Bandiagara region (the central area of Mali) by extremist groups. These attacks are reported to have caused casualties and displaced populations.”
UN Mission in Mali
In a separate incident, a peacekeeper from the UN He died from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device, the UN mission in Mali said in a statement.
The head of the UN Mission in Mali, El-Ghassim Wanesaid that since early 2022, several attacks have killed uniformed members of its peacekeepers.
He added that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law and reaffirmed the mission’s commitment to supporting peace and security in Mali.
Since the beginning of the year, several hundred civilians have been killed in attacks in central and northern Mali. The attacks are attributed to jihadist rebels, as well as the Malian army, according to a report by the human rights division of the United Nations mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA.
The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali began in 2013, after France led a military intervention to drive out extremist rebels who had seized major cities and towns in the country’s north a year earlier. The mission now has approximately 12,000 soldiers in Mali and another 2,000 police and other officers. More than 270 peacekeepers have been killed in Mali, making it the UN’s deadliest peacekeeping mission, according to officials.
With AP information