At least 31 dead as Mali militants fire on market bus

Another deadly day of unrest has hit as armed Mali militants have fired upon a bus full of people heading to a local market, killing at least 31 inside. A UN convoy was also attacked on the same day in the north of the country.

The bus was attacked on Friday 3 December by unidentified gunmen as it took people from the village of Songho to the market in Bandiagara six miles away. It runs the route twice a week. The mayor of a nearby town, Moulaye Guindo, said: “Armed men… shot at the vehicle, slashed the tyres, and shot at the people”. He confirmed 31 people dead, with many more wounded or missing.

The truck was burned and pictures on social media circulating on the internet showed the still smouldering frame of the bus filled with bodies. These images have not been confirmed but are said to be of the attack by the Mali militants. Also on Friday, unidentified armed men attacked a convoy belonging to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, killing one civilian worker and wounding another, the mission said.

Africa’s Sahel region has seen Jihadist attacks soar, killing thousands of people and displacing millions across Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Two soldiers were killed on Wednesday with several more wounded when Islamist militants attacked a border security post. It was the second raid in the area in one week.

Islamist militants attacked an army patrol in the department of Alibori on Tuesday morning, the army chief, Col Fructueux Gbaguidi said in an internal statement on Thursday.

The army killed one jihadist in Tuesday’s attack and another on Wednesday night, he said.

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Written by

Claire Gordon