Local community leaders in central Mali say pro-government fighters have killed more than a dozen members of an ethnic group accused of links to Islamic extremism.

Sekou Bah, the secretary-general of a group called Dental Wuwarbe, said four members of the Peuhl ethnic group were killed while eating at a restaurant on April 30. He said the next day nine other Peuhls were fatally shot at the cemetery for the burial.

The reports Wednesday come amid rising concerns that Peuhls are being targeted by soldiers and pro-government militias.

Ethnic Peuhls are accused of supporting an extremist group known as the Macina Liberation Front, which has carried out attacks in central Mali.

A spokesman for Mali's security minister says investigators are looking into the reports of the 13 killed.