Russians accused of staging French burial of bodies in Mali

The French armed force states it has videos of Russian mercenaries burying bodies near an army base in northern Mali which it says becomes part of a character assassination against the French who handed control of the base to Malian forces earlier this weekBy SAM MEDNICK Associated PressApril 22, 2022, 10:41 AM – 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleOUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso– The French armed force says it has videos of Russian mercenaries burying bodies near an army base in northern Mali, which it states belongs to a smear project versus the French who handed the base to Malian forces previously this week.Satellite images taken by the French military Thursday morning and supplied to The Associated Press show what seem 10 Caucasian soldiers covering roughly a dozen Malian bodies with sand 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) east of the Gossi military base in the nations north, according to a French military officer who spoke on condition of privacy since he was not authorized to speak with the press on the matter.In the video one of the soldiers seems shooting the scene. The Caucasian soldiers in the video are thought to be members of the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary force, the officer said.Several tweets with images of the bodies have been published on accounts that support Russia or fake accounts created by Wagner, the officer stated. The tweets blame the French for the killings and the burials, according to the French officer.One tweet from an account called Dia Diarra, apparently created by Wagner, said: “This is what the French left behind when they left base at #Gossi. These are excerpts from a video that was taken after they left! We can not keep silent about this!”The French army transferred control of the Gossi base to Malian soldiers on Tuesday, in what the French said was a safe, orderly and transparent manner. Later on that day a “French sensing unit observed a lots Caucasian people, more than likely belonging to the Wagner group,” and a detachment from the Malian army come to the Gossi website and unload equipment, said the French armed force in a confidential report that was seen by AP.The French military stated the relocation to discredit the French forces running in northern Mali belongs to a collaborated project of multiple info attacks on them that has been going on for months.In February, France revealed it would withdraw its soldiers from Mali amid stress with the nations ruling military junta and the West African countrys choice to use Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group. Some 1,000 of the Russian mercenaries are thought to be operating in Mali, according to military experts.

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