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26 killed in attack on a village in central Mali

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict, while many more have been forced to flee their homes.

SNS | New Delhi |

At least twenty-six people were killed in an attack on a village in central Mali, according to an officials Saturday.

The recent attack targeted a Fulani village named Binedama in the volatile Mopti region, said Aly Barry, an official from Tabital Pulaaku, a Fulani association in Mali.

Mali has been struggling to quell a jihadist revolt that first broke out in north in 2012, before spreading to the centre, as well as neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict, while many more have been forced to flee their homes.

Central Mali — an ethnic mosaic — has become one of the flashpoints of conflict in the country, with regular jihadist attacks on military targets and occasional intercommunal fighting.

The pastoralist Fulani people are often accused of being close to jihadists, a perception which has led to tit-for-tit massacres between them and other ethnic groups.

The region has also seen several massacres recently, including a militant attack on rural villages which left 12 people dead in April.

In February this year, at least forty people, including nine soldiers, were killed in a spate of attacks in central Mali.

More than 450 civilians were killed in central Mali last year by armed groups, making it the deadliest year in the region since the country’s crisis began in 2012, according to Human Rights Watch.

Ethnic clashes have been ongoing and exploited by Islamic extremists who have been recruiting men from the Peuhl ethnic group to their cause. Dogon militias have also arisen and are accused of supporting Mali’s military crackdown on jihadis.

(With inputs from agency)