Gunmen riding on motorbikes attacked several villages late on Sunday, ‘shooting at anything that moved’, officials said.

Gunmen have attacked several villages in northern Mali, “shooting at anything that moved” and killing at least 40 people in apparent retribution for the recent arrest of several rebel leaders, authorities said.

The latest violence took place in the volatile area along the borders of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso where fighters linked to ISIL (ISIS) and al-Qaeda are active.

No group has yet taken responsibility for the attacks. Mali’s army spokesman Colonel Souleymane Dembele confirmed the attacks on Monday but gave no further details.

The attackers arrived on Sunday around 6pm local time (18:00 GMT) in the communities of Ouatagouna and Karou, local official Oumar Cisse said.

“Most

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