About 100 people were killed during an overnight attack on an ethnic Dogon village in central Mali, a local mayor told Reuters on Monday.
Fighting between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders has killed hundreds since January, including an attack on a village in March in which over 150 Dogon were killed by gunmen, one of the worst acts of violence in the West African country’s recent history.
The attack took place in the ethnic Dogon village of Sobane, in Mali’s central Mopti region, where Dogon hunters and members of the largely nomadic Fulani ethnic group have repeatedly clashed in recent months.
Armed assailants set fire to the village and shot villagers as they sought to escape the flames, the mayor of Sangha said.
The mayor said the charred bodies had been found and that several more villagers were missing.
Malian defence ministry confirmed the death toll at 95, adding that 19 people were still missing and that the toll was likely to rise.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.
Members of the Dogon and Fulani groups often clash over access to land and water. The Dogon also accuse Fulanis of having ties to local jihadist groups, while Fulanis claim that Mali’s army has armed Dogon hunters to attack them.
Earlier this year, the massacre of more than 150 Fulani villagers, including women and children, prompted Mali’s government to sack senior military officials and dissolve a militia composed of Dogon hunters.
Weeks later, the entire government resigned over its failure to disarm militias and beat back Islamist militants, who continue to stage attacks six years after France helped Malian forces stave off a jihadist insurgency in the country's restive north.