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NEW YORK, June 22 (Bernama) -- UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday condemned the killings of more than 100 people in terrorist raids in Mali, said his spokesman.
"We add our voice to the strong condemnation by our colleagues in the peacekeeping mission, following attacks by extremist groups on a number of villages in the Bandiagara region of Central Mali," said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for Guterres.
The attacks over the weekend, according to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, known by its French acronym as MINUSMA, left more than 100 civilians dead and several homes and shops burned, Xinhua quoted the spokesman as saying.
Attacks also took place in several localities in the Gao region of Mali, causing dozens of civilian deaths and displacement of people, Dujarric said. "We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Mali and we wish a speedy recovery to those wounded."
An integrated team from MINUSMA, operating from Mopti, assisted regional authorities in visiting the violence-hit areas. At the request of the Malian armed forces, the UN peacekeeping mission also assisted in the evacuation of wounded civilians to Sevare town, he said.
Dujarric said that following its Security Council mandate, the mission is ready to support national authorities, assist the population and strengthen security, in close coordination with the Malian armed forces and would include ground patrols and aerial reconnaissance or aerial deterrence.
The spokesman added that MINUSMA would continue to pursue its actions to support the stabilisation of Central Mali, which is a strategic priority.
Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. It sits on the southern fringe of the Sahara in West Africa. Along with other countries in the Sahel, it recently has been hit with several extremist attacks.
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