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Al Qaeda, Islamic State on a mission to Kill in the Malian Venice Region of Mopti

31 innocent people on a public bus in Mopti, Mali were ambushed yesterday.

The Mopti villages in the West African Country of Mali is known to be one of the most exotic and colorful parts of the country. Now its one of the deadliest regions in Mali.

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Mopti,” the Malian Venice,” is the capital of the fifth region. This island has one of the busiest ports on the Niger River. It is the region of tourism par excellence.
The region is a melting pot, made up of various ethnic groups which live in harmony with one another. Common languages of the area include Fulani, Bambara, Dogon, Songhai, and Bozo. 

Tourism was once an emerging industry with Air Mali flying to Mupti from Timbuktu and Bamako, and tour busses taking the colorful road from Mupti to the capital city of Bamako.

The region is now an epicenter of violence in Mali fueled by insurgents linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Yesterday, Militants killed at least 31 people in central Mali Friday when they fired on a bus taking people to a local market, local authorities said — the latest deadly attack in a region now known and ruled by violent insurgency. The bus was attacked by unidentified gunmen as it traveled its twice-weekly route from the village of Songho to a market in Bandiagara, 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. Armed men shot at the vehicle, slashed the tires, and shot at the people.

Mali is the most endowed in World Heritage sites in Africa. The mosques Djingary Ber and Sankore in Timbuktu, The mosque of Djenne, Dogon Country, the Tomb of Askia in Gao, and Jaaral and Degal in Diafarabe and Dialloube were all recognized by the international community through inclusion in UNESCO World Heritage. 

These prestigious cultural sites added to beautiful landscapes, vibrant and colorful neighborhoods and villages, and the central Niger Delta with its earthen architecture and its Ramsar sites that host each year thousands of water birds, the Sahara desert whose beauty, in some places, the excitement grows as you travel across the country.

By its geographical position, history, and culture, Mali was a tourism and crafts-oriented country.

Mali has a rich cultural background and the country celebrates various Festivals throughout the year in different regions: cultural festivals, music festivals, religious festivals, during which discussion forums were organized with the participation of foreigners from all continents. 

The U.S. Embassy warns: Do not travel to Mali due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department said: The United States strongly condemns the attack on civilians on Saturday near Bandiagara, Mali, which left 31 dead and 17 injured.  We extend our deepest condolences to the Malian people and will continue to partner with them in their pursuit of a safe, prosperous, and democratic future.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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