Violence between two groups has compounded an already dire security situation in Mali’s semi-arid and desert regions [File: AFP]

Armed men on motorcycles have killed at least 27 civilians in central Mali in three attacks on ethnic Dogon farming villages in less than 24 hours, local officials said on Thursday.

Central Mali has been ravaged in recent years by ethnic reprisal killings, as recriminations between Fulani herding and Dogon farming communities over violence compound long-standing grievances.

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Local officials told Reuters news agency they believed the three attacks, between Tuesday night and Wednesday evening, were carried out by people claiming to be defending Fulani against rival Dogon.

“We were surprised by the attack on the village of Tille. Seven were killed, all Dogons,

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