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95 dead in new ethnic massacre in central Mali

Unknown assailants killed at least 95 people in a central Mali village overnight, government officials said  on Monday.

Young Fulanis listen to a declaration during a demonstration in Bamako on March 15, 2018 organized by the Jeunesse Tabital Pulaaku-Mali, the youth chapter of an organization dedicated to preserving the rights of Mali’s Fulani people, who have become victims of retaliatory violence after being accused of attacks against farmers in central Nigeria’s Plateau state. / AFP PHOTO

The latest massacre in a growing ethnic conflict driven by fear and suspicion over alleged ties to extremist groups once limited to the West African country’s north.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the ethnic Dogon village, though tensions have been high since an ethnic Dogon militia was accused of carrying out a massacre in an ethnic Peuhl village in March that left at least 157 dead.

The killings highlight the Malian security forces’ inability to contain the spreading extremism by fighters linked to the Islamic State organization and al-Qaida and the growing danger of frightened communities arming themselves.

Nineteen people were missing after the Dogon village of Sobame Da was attacked around 3 a.m. on Monday, said Interior Security ministry spokesman Amadou Sangho.

Homes were burned and animals slaughtered, the government said.

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The village is in the commune of Sangha, the heart of the Dogon militia blamed for the March attack that has been the deadliest so far.

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