(Al Jazeeera) – At least 95 people have been killed in an overnight attack on an ethnic Dogon village in central Mali, local officials have said, in the latest bout of violence to hit the region.
Nineteen others were missing since unknown armed men attacked the village of Sobane-Kou in the Mopti region in the early hours of Monday, the government said in a statement.
“Armed men, suspected to be terrorists, launched a murderous attack on this peaceful village,” the statement added.
The attackers also killed animals and burned down houses, the government said, adding that an investigation was under way.
A Malian security source at the site of the massacre said, “A Dogon village has been virtually wiped out.”
A survivor who gave his name as Amadou Togo told the AFP news agency that “about 50 heavily armed men arrived on motorbikes and pickups.
“They first surrounded the village and then attacked – anyone who tried to escape was killed,” Togo said.
“Some people had their throats cut or were disembowelled, grain stores and cattle were torched. No one was spared – women, children, elderly people.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but tensions have been rising since an ethnic Dogon militia was accused of carrying out a massacre in an ethnic Fulani village in March.
Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, told Reuters News Agency that Fulanis had attacked the village after dark.
A local official told the AFP: “Right now we have 95 dead civilians. The bodies are burned, we are continuing to look for others.”
The village had about 300 inhabitants, according to an official who spoke to the AFP on condition of anonymity.