February 23, 2012 / 7:48 PM / 8 years ago

Girl killed in Mali airstrike on displaced camp - MSF

BAMAKO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - A young girl was killed and ten other people, all women and children, were injured when Mali’s airforce bombed a camp for displaced civilians in the north of the country, aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Thursday.

The attack on Wednesday and comes after repeated accusations by Tuareg-led MNLA rebels of indiscriminate attacks by Malian attack helicopters flown by foreign mercenaries.

The government has accused the rebels of collaborating with al Qaeda fighters and executing captured soldiers in the northern town of Aguelhoc last month.

It has been virtually impossible to get independent information on the conflict, which has forced 120,000 people from their homes since the northern rebels launched an independence bid in mid-January.

“Most of those injured in the air strike were women and children, including a young girl who died from her injuries,” MSF said in a statement on the incident at Ag Haross Kayone, 20 km (13 miles) from the northern town of Kidal.

“We are asking all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint in the use of violence and to distinguish between combatants and civilians,” said Michel Olivier Lacharit√©, MSF program manager for Mali

A spokesman for the armed forces would not comment on the incident but said civilian populations were not being targeted. (Reporting by Adama Diarra; Additional reporting and writing by David Lewis)

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