Seven arrested after 37 killed in central Mali, says government

Jan 03, 2019, 12:23 IST | AFP

The UN recorded more than 500 civilian deaths in the area in 2018

Seven arrested after 37 killed in central Mali, says government
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Seven people were arrested in central Mali on Wednesday, the day after 37 civilians were killed when armed men attacked a village in the region in the latest clash between warring communities, the government said.

Following the New Year's Day massacre in the village of Koulogon, in the central Mopti region, "Mali army forces were rushed to the scene", the civil protection ministry said in a statement, adding they "arrested seven suspects" without giving details on those detained. Tuesday's attackers were believed to be traditional Dogon hunters who targeted the village of Fulani herders.

The same Mali army mission also went into Bobosso village, near the Burkina Faso border, following arson attacks, killing one suspect and detaining 24 others, the ministry said. France helped Malian forces stave off a jihadist insurgency that took control of large parts of the troubled north in 2012, but since the death in November of Fulani jihadist figure Amadou Koufa, inter-group conflict has increased. The violence is fuelled by accusations of Fulani grazing cattle on Dogon land and disputes over access to land and water.

The UN recorded more than 500 civilian deaths in the area in 2018. "Large-scale operations" are in preparation with the ministry of defence to deal with the intercommunal violence, the civil defence ministry said in its statement.

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