ADDIS ABABA, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat on Tuesday condemned the killing of 132 civilians in central Mali.
A total of 132 civilians were killed in three villages in the rural commune of Bankass in central Mali, the Malian government said in a statement late Monday.
"I am deeply shocked and saddened by the massacre of 132 civilians in Mali. I condemn it with all my strength and offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims," Mahamat said in a Twitter post.
The AU Commission chairperson further emphasized that the perpetrators of "this unspeakable tragedy must be sought and brought to justice."
According to the Malian authorities, the peaceful populations of Diallassagou, Dianweli, Deguessagou villages and surroundings in the rural commune of Bankass were the subject of barbaric attacks on the night of June 18 to 19.
Several perpetrators of the massacre have been formally identified, which are part of the fighters of the Katiba Macina of Amadou Koufa, according to the statement.
Mali has been facing security, political and economic crises since 2012, with insurgencies, jihadist incursions and inter-community violence killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands of others in the West African country.