"Suspected of being Russians" accusations of mercenaries and the army of killing hundreds in Mali

"Suspected of being Russians" accusations of mercenaries and the army of killing hundreds in Mali In what it called "the worst heinous crime in Mali's 10 years of armed conflict," Human Rights Watch accused the Malian army and suspected Russian soldiers of killing nearly 300 men believed to be from extremist armed groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, in the center of the country.  Human Rights Watch announced Tuesday that the Malian army and foreign soldiers suspected of being Russian recently killed nearly 300 men, some suspected of being extremist fighters linked to al-Qaeda, in Mora, central Mali.  The organization described what happened as the worst heinous crime exposed in the 10 years of armed conflict in Mali against extremists, adding that it had interviewed several witnesses about the killings.  Most of the dead in Mora are believed to have been shot dead by Russian fighters in late March, according to witnesses who described the killers as white soldiers who did not speak French.  Several hundred Russian mercenaries were deployed to Mali to help fight extremist rebels, the US military confirmed in January.  In the Mora incident, Malian army forces and foreign soldiers in late March arrested several hundred men and shot dead about 300 of them, burying many in mass graves and burning others, according to Human Rights Watch.  The Ministry of Defense of Mali reported a similar incident, saying that in the last week of March it had killed 203 terrorists and arrested 51 others, based on intelligence about a meeting of armed men in Mora.  “Abuse by armed Islamist groups is never an excuse for the military’s deliberate killing of people in their custody, and the Malian government is responsible for this horrific crime, the worst in Mali in decades, whether it is carried out by Malian forces or soldiers,” said Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at Human Rights Watch. Foreigners connected to it.”  Most of those killed in Mora were from the Fula ethnic tribe, according to the rights group. Mora was largely under the control of al-Qaeda-linked extremists who imposed exorbitant taxes on villagers and imposed strict Islamic law, according to residents.  “The Malian government should urgently and impartially investigate these mass killings, including the role of foreign soldiers,” Dufka added. "For such investigations to be sufficiently independent and credible, the authorities should seek assistance from the African Union and the United Nations," she said.  In its investigation into the killings in Mora, Human Rights Watch said its researchers spoke to 27 people, including witnesses, merchants, community leaders, foreign diplomats, and security analysts.

In what it called "the worst heinous crime in Mali's 10 years of armed conflict," Human Rights Watch accused the Malian army and suspected Russian soldiers of killing nearly 300 men believed to be from extremist armed groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, in the center of the country.

Human Rights Watch announced Tuesday that the Malian army and foreign soldiers suspected of being Russian recently killed nearly 300 men, some suspected of being extremist fighters linked to al-Qaeda, in Mora, central Mali.

The organization described what happened as the worst heinous crime exposed in the 10 years of armed conflict in Mali against extremists, adding that it had interviewed several witnesses about the killings.

Most of the dead in Mora are believed to have been shot dead by Russian fighters in late March, according to witnesses who described the killers as white soldiers who did not speak French.

Several hundred Russian mercenaries were deployed to Mali to help fight extremist rebels, the US military confirmed in January.

In the Mora incident, Malian army forces and foreign soldiers in late March arrested several hundred men and shot dead about 300 of them, burying many in mass graves and burning others, according to Human Rights Watch.

The Ministry of Defense of Mali reported a similar incident, saying that in the last week of March it had killed 203 terrorists and arrested 51 others, based on intelligence about a meeting of armed men in Mora.

“Abuse by armed Islamist groups is never an excuse for the military’s deliberate killing of people in their custody, and the Malian government is responsible for this horrific crime, the worst in Mali in decades, whether it is carried out by Malian forces or soldiers,” said Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at Human Rights Watch. Foreigners connected to it.”

Most of those killed in Mora were from the Fula ethnic tribe, according to the rights group. Mora was largely under the control of al-Qaeda-linked extremists who imposed exorbitant taxes on villagers and imposed strict Islamic law, according to residents.

“The Malian government should urgently and impartially investigate these mass killings, including the role of foreign soldiers,” Dufka added. "For such investigations to be sufficiently independent and credible, the authorities should seek assistance from the African Union and the United Nations," she said.

In its investigation into the killings in Mora, Human Rights Watch said its researchers spoke to 27 people, including witnesses, merchants, community leaders, foreign diplomats, and security analysts.
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