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Eight Killed As Peace Talks Between Govt, Armed Groups Begin In Mali

Eight persons were killed on the night of Monday to Tuesday, by armed groups in the village of Minimakanda in Mali.

The killings come even as the transition authorities in the country and armed groups based in the centre and north of the country are holding peace talks.

Investigations are still ongoing to ascertain which of the armed groups was involved in the attack and killings.

Within the past several weeks, the populations in the centre and north of the country have been subject to increasing attacks by armed groups.

The village of Minimakanda is situated in the Bankass circle within the Mopti region which has recorded the highest number of murderous attacks. 

It is also the zone most hard hit in the country within the past one month and these attacks have been claimed by the Group for Support to Islam and Moslems which is linked to the Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

According to several sources in the area, some members of the population have been helping the jihadists carrying out the attacks.

The Malian national army is yet to visit the locality to hunt for the perpetrators of the attack.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the anti-terrorist state prosecutor has assured the populations that he would do everything in his powers to ensure that those visiting havoc on the people and causing the deaths of civilians are brought to book.

In a communiqué made public on Wednesday, Procureur Samba Sissoko made allusions to investigations into attacks on the villages of Ogossagou and Sobane-Da which took place two years ago, assuring that the investigations are still continuing and have not been closed as rumoured.

The said attacks by armed individuals yet to be identified occasioned the deaths of at least 255 civilians.

“Judicial investigations opened into the two attacks on the villages of Ogossagou and Sobane-Da as well as other terrorist activities are following their normal course in spite of constraints linked to insecurity,” the official in charge of the special judicial section for the fight against terrorism and transnational crime revealed.

State Prosecutor Samba Sissoko revealed that sixty dossiers concerning 89 accused persons have been forwarded to the Bamako High Court. 

Among these are the ones concerning the attack on the “La Terrasse” restaurant and the Radisson Blue Hotel as well as that on the chief of the Ancar Dine in the South.

He announced that the two brains behind the attacks, the Mauritanian Fawaz Ould Ahmed and Souleymane Keita and accomplices had been sentenced to death.

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