Excerpts from a United Nations investigation, whose results will be published later today, Tuesday, said that a French air strike in central Mali on January 3 killed 19 civilians and three militants, and the report contradicts France’s assertions that the strike only hit militants.
The French Ministry of Defense said in a statement that it reiterates that the strike targeted what it described as armed terrorists, adding that it had several reservations about the approach used in drawing up the United Nations report.
Residents said the air strike near the village of Ponte hit a wedding party attended by civilians. On the seventh of January, the French army said that the French Barkhane force had killed about 30 armed men who were monitored by air traffic control.
The human rights section of the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) conducted an investigation into the incident and visited its location in the Mopti region in central Mali in late January. At least 22 people were killed in a Barkhan force strike, including 19 civilians and 3 militants.
The Human Rights Department added that it is believed that the gunmen belong to an armed group affiliated with the terrorist Al-Qaeda organization.
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