33 civilians killed in attack in central Mali

Carried out by suspected jihadists in the Mopti region

PHOTO/AFP  -   Mali

The number of civilians killed in an attack on Saturday by suspected jihadists in the Mopti region of central Mali has risen to 33, local sources told EFE news agency.

The assault was carried out in the town of Songho by a group of armed individuals against a vehicle on a road connecting the towns of Bandiagara and Sevaré.

The sources said that the suspected jihadists first killed the driver before setting fire to the bus and killing the people inside, including women with babies, young pregnant women and elderly people.

Neighbouring villages and the Donzo militia, made up of traditional Dogon hunters, denounced "the absence of the state" in this area.

Several local sources contacted by the EFE news agency described the attack as "barbaric and cruel".

So far, there has been no official communication from the transitional government about what happened.

Mali is going through a complex situation of insecurity and political instability with the presence of jihadist groups, which are intensifying their attacks against the civilian population, the Malian army and foreign and United Nations forces.

There have also been two coups d'état in less than a year, following which a transitional process was opened that has not yet culminated, pending the holding of general elections that have yet to be scheduled.