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Mali says extremists killed 37 people in March

Mali says extremists killed 37 people in March
Government vows to hunt down perpetrators of crimes

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Mali’s government said Sunday that extremists killed 37 people last month in violent attacks on communities in the Bandiagara and Bankass areas of the central Mopti region.

They included attacks in Kourou-Kanda and Mande-Kanda villages which left 15 and 22 people dead respectively, said a government statement.

“The government strongly condemns this inhuman and repeated violence indiscriminately targeting the armed forces and security forces, civilians, livestock, granaries, transport vehicles and homes. Serious incidents have caused enormous loss of life and massive displacement of populations,” it said.

“The government reaffirms that the perpetrators of these crimes will be hunted down and brought to justice at any time and means. Investigations will be carried out, the facts will be documented and recorded, and when the time comes, the perpetrators will be held accountable.”

The statement said two military detachments have been deployed in the area to restore calm and strengthen the protection of people and property.

At the same time, arrangements are being made to provide assistance to affected populations, it said.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said in February that his government was seeking talks with extremist groups in an effort to end an insurgency that has engulfed the country.

Since 2012, militants have carried out violent attacks in northern and central Mali, killing thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Last year, at least 456 civilians were killed and hundreds more wounded in central Mali alone, according to Human Rights Watch.

The Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), which has links to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in central Mali.

source: News Feed
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