At least 95 people have been killed in an overnight attack on an ethnic Dogon village in central Mali, according to local officials.
Nineteen others were missing since unknown armed men attacked the village of Sobane-Kou in the Mopti region in the early hours of Monday, the government said in a statement.
The attackers also killed animals and burnt down houses, the government said, adding that an investigation into the attack was under way.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but tensions have been rising since an ethnic Dogon militia was accused of carrying out a massacre in an ethnic Fulani village in March.
Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, told Reuters news agency that Fulanis had attacked the village after dark
A local official told AFP news agency: “Right now we have 95 dead civilians. The bodies are burned, we are continuing to look for others.”
The village had about 300 inhabitants, according to an official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.
Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque, reporting from Dakar in neighbouring Senegal, said Malian troops were deployed at the village “trying to secure the area and to ensure there are no more attacks happening in the villages nearby”.
Violence between the Dogon and Fulani has compounded an already dire security situation in Mali’s semi-arid and desert regions, which are used as a base by armed groups with ties to al-Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Fulani are primarily cattle breeders and traders, while the Dogon are traditionally sedentary farmers.
On May 16, the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) announced it had recorded “at least 488 deaths” in attacks on Fulanis in the central regions of Mopti and Segou since January 2018.
In the bloodiest raid, about 160 Fulani villagers were slaughtered in March at Ogossagou, near the border with Burkina Faso, by suspected Dogon hunters.Former Pakistani president Zardari arrested on corruption charges