BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Gunmen attacked a truck carrying civilians in central Mali, killing at least 31 people, a local official said Saturday.
The mayor of Bandiagara, Housseini Saye, said the truck was carrying about 50 civilians when the identified gunmen attacked the vehicle Friday about 10 kilometers outside the town.
"The shooting caused the truck to catch fire, and 31 people died, most of them burned to death,” said the mayor, who is also a member of Mali's transitional parliament. “There were several injured and two missing.”
The attack has not been claimed, but it bears the mark of local armed groups linked to al-Qaida. The bloodshed could exacerbate tensions between communities in central Mali that already have led to extended violence in the region.
Attacks by armed groups linked to al-Qaida against the Malian army began in 2015. Insecurity has worsened with attacks on civilians and United Nations peacekeepers in Mali.