Suspected Islamic radicals killed at least 27 people, some of whom were burned alive, in a series of attacks that spanned from last Tuesday to Wednesday evening in three villages that advocates say are predominantly inhabited by Christians in Central Mali, officials said.
As escalations in communal violence have plagued the West African country in recent years, local officials told Reuters that attacks in the villages of Bankass, Koro and Tillé were carried out by armed men on motorcycles whom they believe to be jihadists that claim to protect Fulani herders from Dogon farmers.
“We were surprised by the attack on the village of Tillé,” Doucombo Deputy Mayor Yacouba Kassogué told the news agency. “Seven were killed, all Dogons, some of them burned alive.”
At least 20 additional people were reported to have been killed in neighboring villages of Bankass and Koro.
According to local officials, most of the victims in those two villages were shot or burned to death.
According to the interdenominational Christian aid agency Barnabus Aid, the attacks carried out last week in Central Mali victimized “mainly-Christian Dogon villages.”
“Since 2016, jihadists have been waging a war to occupy north and central Mali with the declared aim of establishing Sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country,” a statement from the aid agency reads.
“Mali suffered its worst year of extremist violence in seven years in 2019. Jihadi militants carried out murderous attacks in the north and central area, laying waste to Christian villages and causing hundreds to flee with only the clothes on their backs.”
Dozens were reportedly killed during a suspected Fulani attack in the mainly-Christian village of Sobame Da, a village in the Mopti region of central Mali, in June 2019.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith