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Ians

At least 31 people have been killed and 17 others injured when armed men attacked a truck carrying civilians in central Mali, authorities said in a statement.

The statement, issued by the transitional government of Mali on Saturday, said a group of unidentified armed bandits had attacked and set ablaze a truck carrying people to a fairground near the village of Songho on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Reinforcements were "currently deployed" in the area to track down the perpetrators, it added, pledging to take all measures to "arrest and punish the perpetrators of this despicable and tragic act."

Malian Interim President Assimi Goita decreed three days of national mourning from Sunday to pay tribute to the victims in the attack.

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