At least 30 villagers were killed in an attack on four villages in Mali’s Mopti region, local media reported late Thursday.

The attack was perpetrated by unidentified gunmen riding pickup trucks and motorbikes against vulnerable ethnic Dogon farming villages near the Burkina Faso border, local daily MaliJet reported.

The Dogon are an ethnic group living in Mali’s central plateau region, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara and in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

The attack also caused serious material damage.

“The assailants arrived on board pickups. There were two of them on a motorcycle. They started shooting at unarmed villagers without distinction,” MaliJet quoted a local resident as saying.

Since 2012, militants have carried out violent attacks in northern and central Mali, killing thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Earlier this year, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said his government was seeking talks with militant groups in an effort to end an insurgency that has engulfed the West African country.

Last year, at least 456 civilians were killed and hundreds more wounded in Central Mali alone, according to Human Rights Watch.

No group has claimed responsibility of the attack so far, but similar attacks are usually claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.