By Alaattin Dogru
At least 37 people have been killed in an armed attack in Mali’s central Mopti region, the government said Tuesday.
The attackers, dressed as traditional Dozo hunters, arrived on motorbikes and opened fire on the village of Koulogon, killing ethnic Fulani civilians. The victims included women and children.
Soldiers were present in the village from Dec. 22-31 due to threats against the village headman.
Fulani herders, who live mostly in central Mali, have been subjected to attacks in recent years due to terrorist incidents in the region.
Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed military coup and a rebellion by the nomadic Tuareg ethnic group 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, undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.