Nouakchott, Mauritania (PANA) - The Mauritanian government has strongly condemned Saturday night's massacre by the Malian army of 16 Muslim preachers, 13 of them Mauritanians, and called for an independent investigation into the killings.
The preachers of the moderate Muslim sect of Daawa came from the Mauritanian border and were heading to a religious gathering in Bamako when they were executed in Diabaly, 430 kilometres north of the Malian capital.
In a statement issued on Sunday night in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian government said it was ''outraged" by the cold-blooded murder.
It demanded "a diligent and independent investigation, in order to clarify the circumstances of the crime, identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice."
The Malian government has already dispatched its foreign minister to Nouakchott, while also announcing the opening of an investigation into the killings.
The killings occurred as the security situation in the sub-region worsens, amid the continued
occupation of northern Mali by Islamic militants and Tuareg rebels.
-0- PANA SAS/JSG/JEN/SEG 10Sept2012