UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed shock and outrage Wednesday over the recent large-scale massacre of civilians in attacks perpetrated by extremist groups in central Mali.
"The Secretary-General is shocked and outraged by reports that at least 100 civilians have been killed in attacks reportedly perpetrated by extremist groups against several villages in the Bandiagara region, central Mali, on 18 and 19 June," the United Nations said in a statement.
In one of the country's worst civilian killings, suspected terrorists raided several villages in central Mali last weekend, leaving at least 132 people dead, the government announced Monday.
The attacks, which targeted the villages of Diallassagou, Dianweli, Deguessagou and surrounding areas in the Bankass circle, were attributed to members of the Katiba du Macina (Macina Liberation Front) of (Fulani preacher) Amadou Kouffa.
Junta leader Colonel Assimi Goïta declared three days of mourning for the victims.
Guterres offered his condolences and called for swift action against those responsible for the massacre.
"The Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the people of Mali. He condemns these attacks in the strongest terms and calls on the Malian authorities to swiftly investigate them and bring the perpetrators to justice," the statement said.
Since 2012, Mali has been battling regular attacks orchestrated by militants in northern and central Mali targeting soldiers and civilians.
Guterres also called on the Malian authorities to redouble their efforts to restore peace and stability to Mali and reiterated the readiness of the UN and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) to support the efforts.
Also last week, a MINUSMA peacekeeper on patrol was killed in the latest explosion in northern Mali's Kidal region.
On Tuesday, hundreds of angry Malians demonstrated in the central city of Bankass to demand state protection.