Local reports indicate that at least 12 civilians were killed near the village of Inékar - 45 km (28 mi) from Ménaka, the capital of the eponymous region - on Tuesday, September 25. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of Wednesday morning (local time).
Attacks and assassinations take place on a regular basis in the Ménaka region, and more widely in northern Mali. While the motivations behind this specific attack are not yet known, attacks in northern Mali usually stem from ethnic grievances among competing tribes or are acts of retaliation by terrorist groups against civilians.
Several armed groups operate in the northern regions as well as in certain areas of central Mali. Most groups are affiliated with Al-Qa'ida - under the Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) umbrella - or the Islamic State. In addition to these are pro-government militias. Tensions are further exacerbated by strong underlying ethnic divides.
The security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions where certain areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to traveling.
Copyright and Disclaimer