Several dozen killed in attack near Mali's border with Niger: local officials

Several dozen civilians have been shot dead by gunmen who raided homes in northeastern Mali near the border with Niger, local officials and a Touareg self-defence group told AFP Thursday.

"Gunmen riding on motorbikes raided many areas in the southern part of the Menaka region and executed civilians from the (Touareg) Idaksahak community," said a statement from the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), which spoke of 47 people killed.

Local officials, who confirmed early Wednesday's attack, put the number of dead at several dozen.