Mauritania has accused the Malian army of carrying out what it called a "barbaric massacre", after the shooting in central Mali of 16 unarmed Muslim preachers. Among the dead were eight Mauritanians. The Malian army reportedly opened fire on a vehicle transporting members of the Dawa sect travelling to a conference in the capital Bamako, after it failed to stop at a checkpoint. The army says soldiers opened fire to ward off a possible ambush from islamists rebels in the north. Mali's Foreign Minister - Tiéman Coulibaly - is expected in the Mauritanian capital to try to defuse the tensions. RFI spoke to Paul Melly, a Mali researcher at the London-based think tank Chatham House.