Deaths of 19 civilians in French airstrike in Mali disputed by Paris

Deaths of 19 civilians in French airstrike in Mali disputed by Paris

The Guardian

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Witnesses describe aerial attack on a wedding but French officials claim gathering was of armed extremists

A French airstrike killed at least 19 civilians in central Mali in January, a United Nations report has said, contradicting claims by officials in Paris that the target of the attack was a gathering of armed extremists.

The accusation will further complicate international and local efforts to combat violent Islamist groups in Mali, which have grown in strength in recent years. It is also likely to fuel anti-French sentiment in Mali, a former colony.

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