Unidentified armed men have killed around 40 people in an attack on a village in insurgent-plagued central Mali, local officials said on Tuesday.

The attack took place on Monday in the village of Djiguibombo in Mopti region – one of several areas in Mali’s north and centre where jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have been active for over a decade.

“It was a very serious attack, armed men surrounded the village and shot at people,” said Bankass Mayor Moulaye Guindo by phone.

He was not able to share a death toll, but two local officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said around 40 people were killed.

“It was carnage, they surrounded the village where there was a wedding … There was panic, some people managed to flee, but many were killed, most of them men,” said one of the officials.

They did not identify the attackers and no group has yet claimed responsibility.

It was not possible to reach the army spokesperson for comment.

Violence has spiralled in West Africa’s central Sahel region since the insurgencies took root in Mali and spread into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, killing thousands of people and displacing millions more.

The insecurity has helped spur two coups in Mali, one in Burkina Faso, and one in Niger since 2020.

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