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United States to Monitor Mali killings

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The US State Department says it is following up on reports of killings in central Mali, after the country’s military in the Sahel region said it had killed more than 200 terrorists.

The Malian army said last week that between March 21-31, 203 jihadists had been killed in an operation in the central region of Moura.

But the announcement follows media reports that several civilians have been killed in Moura.

The AFP news agency has been unable to determine the number of people the Malian army claims to have killed or reports on social media of civilian casualties.

Lack of access to conflict-ridden areas of Mali and lack of access to independent sources means that figures provided by the government and armed groups are difficult to verify.

On Sunday, the State Department said it was following up on the shocking news of the massacre in Moura and offered its condolences to the families of the victims.

The statement said that several reports indicated that the killings were carried out by Russian troops of Wagner, while other reports said that the militants were killed by the Malian army.