Unidentified assailants attacked the village of Amalaou-laou, located near Ansongo (Gao region), on Sunday, September 30. Between seven and 22 civilians were killed.
Furthermore, a Malian army convoy escorting a bus was ambushed between Gossi (Timbuktu region) and Hombori (Mopti region) on Sunday. At least one soldier was killed and other people were injured, including civilians.
As of October 1, no group has claimed responsibility for either attack.
Attacks and assassinations take place on a regular basis in northern Mali. They 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. These tensions are further exacerbated by strong underlying ethnic divides.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.