Mali villagers killed in armed raid in Mopti region

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Fulani semi-nomadic herder’s in Diafarabe, MaliImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Fulani are semi-nomadic herders

Armed men believed to be traditional hunters have killed at least 37 people in an attack on a village in central Mali, the country's government says.

Many homes were burned in Koulogon village, in the central Mopti region, officials added.

The government has launched an investigation into the attack.

Last year, hundreds of people died in clashes between Dogon hunters and members of the largely nomadic Fula ethnic group.

The raid on Koulogon happened at about 05:00 GMT on Tuesday, a government statement said.

Fulani villager Allaye Yattara told AFP news agency he was outside the village with cattle when he heard shots.

"Our village chief Moussa Diallo was killed, along with members of his family, including a young girl," he said.

Clashes between Dogon hunters and semi-nomadic Fulani herders are often over access to land and water.

The Dogon also accuse Fulanis of ties to jihadist groups. The Fulanis claim that Mali's military has armed the hunters to attack them.

France helped Malian forces stave off a jihadist insurgency that took control of large parts of the troubled north in 2012.