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Over 130 dead, village 'devastated' after apparent ethnic attack in Mali

Over 130 dead, village 'devastated' after apparent ethnic attack in Mali
At least 134 people have been killed in an apparent ethnically-motivated attack on a village in southern Mali. Another village was also attacked, according to local officials, and the body count is expected to grow even further.

The village of Ogossagou, inhabited by Fulani herders, was attacked by a group of gunmen early in the morning. The attackers sported the outfits of another tribe, the Donzo hunters, according to the mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, Moulaye Guindo.

The attack left at least 134 people dead and the village was completely "devastated," the official added. The death toll is not final, as local law enforcement officers continue to examine the scene of the brutal attack.

"We are provisionally at 134 bodies recovered by the gendarmes," Guindo told Reuters.

Another nearby Fulani village, Welingara, also came under attack, leading to an as-yet-unspecified number of deaths, the official said. The attack appears to be one of the deadliest the country has seen, despite experiencing years of ethnic and religious violence.

France intervened in the affairs of Mali –its former colony– in 2013, in an attempt to push back jihadist groups who at the time were rampant in the country's north. The militants, however, have since established themselves in central Mali and neighboring countries. All in all, France has some 4,500 troops deployed to the Sahel region, the majority of them stationed in Mali.

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