At least three people were killed, one of them a gendarme, as a result of a confrontation between Malian villagers and a group of soldiers in dispute over gold fields in the south of the country, a local newspaper reported.
The clash between the military and the inhabitants of the southern towns of Guala and Sindo, in a traditional dispute over the exploitation of this mineral, also caused two injuries in Wassoulou Bale, an intermediate area provided with deposits and desired by both sides, the Malian News Agency added.
The authorities sent a mediating mission to resolve the initial dispute between the villagers, but the litigants fired on them, one of whose projectiles killed the gendarme, in charge of the protection of a local dignitary.
Security personnel guarding the mediators responded with their firearms and caused the other two deaths among the belligerents, as well as the two wounded.
Incidents like this one are constant in different goldfields of the country, where inhabitants of neighboring villages fight among themselves for other neighboring gold-producing territories.