Suspected jihadist attack in Mali kills at least 21 civilians

An attack blamed on jihadists in central Mali killed more than 20 civilians on Monday, two local officials said, in the latest killings in the troubled Sahel region.

"At least 21 civilians have been killed" in the village of Djiguibombo, several dozen kilometres (miles) from the town of Bandiagara, an official from the provincial authority said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He attributed the attack to jihadists.

Sources joined by RFI attribute this attack to jihadists from Katiba Macina of Jnim.

Another provincial authority official, who spoke overnight, said about 20 people had been killed and the security situation prevented authorities from going to the site.

But a local youth representative said the army had arrived afterwards.

Both local authority sources asked not to be identified given their positions. Since the junta came to power in 2020, information about such incidents is not generally made public.

The attack began before nightfall and "lasted around three hours", the youth representative said, requesting anonymity for security reasons.

"More than half are young people. Some victims had their throats cut," the source said.

"Many inhabitants fled towards Bandiagara. Those who stayed were not even able to bury the dead properly," he said.

Spiralling violence

Human rights groups regularly denounce widespread impunity for attacks on civilians.