Mali: At least 132 civilians were killed in three villages by jihadists

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More from 130 civilians were killed at the weekend in three neighboring communities, in the main Maliin attacks for which the government blames the jihadists.

The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a police recruiting center at Dilalasagu and two other neighboring communities in the Bankas district, killing at least 132 people. The men were “cold-bloodedly killed by fighters from Amadou Kufa’s Katimba Masina,” an al-Qa’eda-linked group, the government said in a statement.

Mali is trying to deal with Islamist jihadists who have been entrenched since the 2012 coup and have now expanded from the dry West African country to the central. Thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the Sahel.

Some of the militants are linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State. Despite international efforts, led by France, to counter them, jihadists have also expanded to neighboring countries, such as Burkina Faso and Niger.

In February, France announced it was withdrawing its troops from Mali, after nearly a decade of deployments there, after strained relations between Paris and the military junta that took power in a coup in August 2020.

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