Mali orders investigation into killings of 43 civilians in two villages

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Reports has it that Armed men dressed in military outfit raided the village of Binedama on Friday, killing 29 people including women and children, and burning down houses, according to officials. Two days earlier, bandits had killed 14 people in the village of Niangassadiou, the government reported in a statement.
Both villages are in Mopti, a volatile region in the centre of the country that has seen many attacks and ethnic killings over the past few years.
In both cases, The community leaders said attackers targeted members of the Fulani group – semi-nomadic herders who have been accused by rival farming communities of supporting local armed groups, making them targets of violence from ethnic vigilante militias and sometimes government forces.
Fulani association Tabital Pulaaku and human rights accused the military and said all the victims were innocent civilians. Last week, it accused Malian soldiers of carrying out both attacks, saying the troops surrounded Binedama in pick-up trucks before moving in, and attacked a trade fair at Niangassadiou.
The government acknowledged the accusation and replied that it had asked the military and the justice system to conduct the investigation.
Mali has reportedly been in crisis since 2012 when Tuareg separatists launched a rebellion in the north, which was quickly commandeered by armed group fighters. Africa-News reports.

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