Dozens of civilians were killed after militants attacked buses

After two military coups in 16 months, jihadist attacks in Mali surged (file picture)

Local officials said that militants attacked a bus carrying civilians to the market, killing at least 31 people in central Mali.

According to the authorities, an unidentified gunman shot and killed the driver and then set fire to the bus.

Local sources told EFE news agency that most of the victims were women on their way to the market to work.

This deadly attack is the latest in a jihadist rebellion that has rapidly escalated in Mali.

Murray Jindo, the mayor of the nearby town of Bancas, told Reuters that armed men “fired at vehicles, cut tires, and fired at the people.”

He said more people were either missing or injured.

Images on social media after the attack showed that the smoldering frame of the bus was still full of corpses, but the BBC was unable to independently verify these images.

The bus was targeted twice a week from Songo Village to Banjagara Market, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) away.

Map: Location of Pine Lake in central Mali

Map: Location of Pine Lake in central Mali

The attack took place in the heart of the Mopti region of West Africa. In recent months, militants associated with Al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have contributed to the escalation of violence.

The Mali Transitional Government was established after the coup d’état overthrew the previous government in May and has not yet commented on the attack.

The most recent attack occurred one day after insurgents attacked a United Nations convoy in the north of the country, killing one civilian and injuring another.

Mujahideen attacks surge in Mali Two military coups in 16 months As a result of the weakness of the central government, France stopped joint military operations between the army and its 5,100 soldiers in the country.

According to reports, the severe security situation has caused the Malian central government to turn to the collective Russian mercenaries. Wagner Group, ask for help.

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