Gambia’s government has frowned on the killing of 13 people in neighboring Senegal’s Casamance region, calling the execution a despicable crime.
Senegal Army said gunmen ordered a group of men and youths, out looking for wood, to lie on the ground deep in the forest before opening fire in Borofaye forest in the commune of Boutoupa-Camaracounda.
“The Gambia strongly condemns the abhorrent and despicable crime by armed criminals, which resulted in the death of thirteen civilians, including children,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
The Gambia expressed condolences to Senegal and families of those killed. The country has vowed to work with its neighbor to find lasting peace and security in the restive region.
According to the government, ten of the 13 killed were shot dead, two were stabbed to death and one was burned. Half a dozen more were wounded, with the most seriously hurt being transferred to Dakar for treatment.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall, condemning an “armed attack of rare barbarity”, summoned his national security council and ordered a ministerial delegation to the scene. He has vowed Sunday to be “relentless” in tracking down and bringing to justice those responsible for the execution.
Casamance, separated from the rest of Senegal by The Gambia, has been calm for several years since Sall took power in 2012, though peace talks have failed to yield a definitive settlement in its decades-long low-level crisis for independence.