World, Africa

34 killed in attack on 2 Touareg villages in Mali

Assailants raid villages in latest spate of attacks

Vakkas Doğantekin   | 17.01.2019
34 killed in attack on 2 Touareg villages in Mali File photo

ABUJA, Nigeria 

At least 34 people were killed on Thursday when armed men, believed to be on motorcycles, raided two Touareg villages in eastern Mali, a governor said.

Menaka Governor Nanout Kotia said many more were injured in the attack and clashes between rival tribes in the Western African nation resulted in the deaths of 40 people within the last month.

The latest attack near the province of Menaka is only a continuation of ongoing conflicts among hostile tribes.

More than 200 people died in clashes between hunters and members of the largely nomadic Touareg and Fula ethnic groups last year.

Touaregs is one of the oldest and largest tribes in Africa whose roots are believed to go back to Amazighs (Berbers) and Tariq ibn Ziyad, the conqueror of Andalusia, and predominantly live in Libya, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Several terror groups are also active in northern Mali, where French, Malian and UN peacekeepers are conducting counterterrorism operations.

Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Touareg rebellion that ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of the country. In 2015, a peace deal was signed between the government and some insurgent groups.

Political and community disputes continue to fuel tensions in northern Mali, thus undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.

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