Authorities said on Thursday that 11 people were killed in an attack by suspected Islamic extremists on a camp outside Gao sheltering people fleeing violence in northern Mali.
Gao’s former mayor Sadou Diallo said the attackers also destroyed the camp’s food stores and stole all livestock.
The UN confirmed Monday’s attack in a statement, although authorities in the Gao region have not yet reported it.
“These [internally displaced people] Those fleeing the violence of this attack doubly suffer, adding to their vulnerability, said Alain Nodehou, UN humanitarian coordinator.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack identified militants linked to the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara group, who target civilians in the Gao and Menaka regions.
The attack near Gao comes amid growing fears about extremist violence in Mali following the departure of French troops earlier this year after nine years helping fight militants in the West African country. France’s departure comes amid deteriorating relations with Colonel Assimi Goïta, who seized power in Mali two years ago.
Goita has become increasingly isolated from Mali’s one-time international partners. The UK recently announced it would withdraw 300 of its peacekeepers from Mali, saying the country’s growing reliance on Russian mercenaries was undermining stability.