Gunmen Attack Truck Carrying Civilians in Mali, Kill 31

A truck carrying civilians in central Mali was attacked by gunmen, killing at least 31 people, Housseini Saye, the mayor of Bandiagara, said on Saturday.

According to Saye, who is also a member of Mali’s transitional parliament, the truck was carrying about 50 civilians when the gunmen attacked it about 10 kilometres outside the town on Friday.

“The shooting caused the truck to catch fire, and 31 people died, most of them burned to death,” said the mayor.

“There were several injured and two missing.”

The attack has not been claimed but is likely the work of local armed groups linked to al-Qaida. In central Mali, tensions between communities already have led to extended violence. The bloodshed could exacerbate those tensions.

Attacks on the Malian army by armed groups affiliated with al Qaeda began in 2015. Violence against civilians and UN peacekeepers has worsened in Mali.

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