At least 100 men, women and children have been incinerated in a “well-targeted attack” on Christians by jihadists in central Mali, according to reports.
The exact number of victims who died in Sobame Da, a mainly Christian village, isn’t known because many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition.
The Barnabas Fund, a global ministry to the persecuted Christian church, said the heavily armed Muslim attackers struck at night.
A source said it was the “worst massacre in Mali since 1946 and happened when jihadists encircled a village that was home to ethnic Dogon people.”
The Muslims then set fire to “everything that moved” in their “well-targeted attack.”
The death toll is estimated to be between 100 and 135.
The Barnabas Fund contact said they “burned the entire village including all the people who stayed or did not dare to go out. Only a few men were able to escape.”
The BBC reported it was just the latest and worst of recent attacks by jihadi groups on Dogon hunters.
“About 50 heavily armed men arrived on motorbikes and pickups,” a survivor explained in the BBC report. “They first surrounded the village and then attacked – anyone who tried to escape was killed.
“No-one was spared – women, children, elderly people,” he said.
The report explained the Dogon people have lived for centuries in central Mali and largely are farmers.
“According to the International Crisis Group, there were four times more attacks in May 2019 compared to May 2016. In their latest report on the country, the group urges the government to engage in dialogue with militants to negotiate local ceasefires and facilitate humanitarian access to civilians in need,” said the report.
Barnabas Fund said the jihadists and their allies are waging a “war” to occupy central Mali and have announced their intention to establish Shariah, Islamic law, throughout the country.
A contact said the jihadists have threatened, “No city will be made an exception and no village will escape.”
“So this isolated Christian village could not escape,” the source said.