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French charge accompanied by Russian mercenaries of staging burials inside Mali

French ask in remittance accompanied by Russian mercenaries of staging burials inside Mali

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — The French military has released videos appearing to show Russian mercenaries burying bodies near an armed strength base inside northern Mali, which it says is small part of a smear military operation opposed to the French who handed the base to Malian forces earlier this week.

Aerial surveillance images taken by the French military on Thursday earlier to noon accompanied by every one one other accompanied by provided to The Associated Press show what become perceptible to exist 10 Caucasian soldiers covering violently a dozen Malian bodies accompanied by beach 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) the orient of the Gossi military base inside the country's north, according to a French military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the press on the matter.

In the video one of the soldiers appears to exist filming the scene. The Caucasian soldiers inside the video are believed to exist members of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary force, the officer said.

Several tweets accompanied by pictures of the bodies have been posted on accounts that support Russia or fake accounts created by Wagner, the officer said. The tweets clasp inside ask in remittance of the French for the killings accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the burials, according to the French officer.

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One tweet from an description called Dia Diarra, allegedly created by Wagner, said: "This is what the French left-hand behind when they left-hand base at #Gossi. These are excerpts from a video that was taken following they left! We cannot retain silent concerning this!"

The French armed strength transferred jurisdiction of the Gossi base to Malian soldiers on Tuesday, inside what the French said was a safe, orderly accompanied by every one one other accompanied by transparent manner. Later that day a "French sensor observed a dozen Caucasian individuals, most probable belonging to the Wagner Group," accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a detachment from the Malian armed strength go nearer at the Gossi location accompanied by every one one other accompanied by unload equipment, said the French military inside a confidential report that was seen by AP.

Mali's armed strength spokesperson Col. Souleymane Dembele said that a team has been dispatched to Gossi to investigate, adding "it is still early for us to react on this case."

The French military said the go to discredit the French forces operating inside northern Mali is small part of a coordinated military operation of multiple details attacks on them that has been going on for months.

"The Wagner Group accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the Malian Armed Forces become perceptible to exist taking disregard for anthropoid actuality to new levels inside Mali," said Alex Thurston, subordinate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati inside the United States.

"Anti-French sentiments, however, reflect additional than fair Russian disinformation. The Malian junta accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Wagner are trying to harness those frustrations, nevertheless they did not create them," he said.

French troops have been a greatest presence inside Mali since helping to dislodge jihadi rebels from strongholds inside northern Mali inside 2013. But the extremists' attacks on civilians accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the military have continued while the rebels have pushed south. The ongoing violence has prompted numerous anti-French protests inside the capital.

In February, France announced it would withdraw its troops from Mali amid tensions accompanied by the country's ruling military junta accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the West African country's decision to employ Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group. About 1,000 of the Russian mercenaries are believed to exist operating inside Mali, according to military experts.

Earlier this month overseas soldiers idea to exist the Russians employed accompanied by the Malian armed strength were accused of killing an estimated 300 men — some of them suspected Islamic extremist fighters nevertheless most civilians — inside Moura inside centre Mali, according to Human Rights Watch. It was the worst single atrocity reported inside Mali's 10-year armed debate opposed to Islamic extremists, according to the category which said it interviewed some witnesses concerning the killings.

It's unclear where the bodies seen inside the video Friday came from. The French military official said they ability have maybe been taken from near Hombori town, violently 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Gossi, where there had been fighting a few days earlier, nevertheless he could not corroborate it.

The apparently staged graves tin exist seen while the latest example of Russia's disinformation military operation to injury France's reputation accompanied by every one one other accompanied by it excessively reflects poorly on Mali's army, which must have been aware of the Russians' actions, said Rida Lyammouri, older fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a Moroccan-based organization focused on economics accompanied by every one one other accompanied by policy.

"This event at Gossi bivouac will further place Mali's junta at likelihood accompanied by the international community, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by it wouldn't exist surprising if they go nearer up accompanied by an unrealistic explanation," he said.

He said the aerial images provided by the French military have mostly stymied the Russian disinformation effort. "This is a large go nearer earliest inside for France who's been facing durable times concerning its reputation inside Mali," he said.

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AP author Baba Ahmed inside Bamako, Mali contributed.

French ask in remittance accompanied by Russian mercenaries of staging burials inside Mali

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