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Burnt body without head. Russian mercenaries kill in another country

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Russian mercenaries have killed more than 900 civilians in the Central African Republic since December 2020, making them the deadliest armed group operating in the country, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, an organization that analyzes armed conflicts. Civilians have reported kidnappings and torture by the Wagnerians’ successors.

CAR authorities have found the burned, decapitated body of a 19-year-old miner in the town of Koki, Ouham prefecture. The young man was one of at least 20 miners who were killed in mid-June because they refused to attend a meeting of the local mining community called by the Russians in mid-June.

It took place in a Catholic church near Koro-Mpoko, in the western part of the country, where there are small pits from which local people extract gold. Russian mercenaries ordered those present to put aside their bags and empty their pockets.

They declared that no one could mine, sell or buy gold, and anyone who did so would be executed. They designated six people as intermediaries who were responsible for buying gold and delivering it to the Russians.

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Hundreds of civilians killed in Central African Republic by mercenariesWagner Account/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At the end of the meeting, they took all the belongings the miners had with them: mobile phones, gold nuggets, tools and cash, the Central African news agency Corbeau News Centrafrique (CNC) reported.

Some miners ignored the threats and continued to mine for gold. Many died, including a decapitated 19-year-old. At least two were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Russians in Bossangoa, the capital of the prefecture. The families of those detained were told that if they wanted to see their relatives alive, they would have to pay a ransom of 1.5 million CFA francs (about $2,500) per person. The ransom was collected, and those released said they had been tortured.

Russian mercenaries have killed hundreds of civilians in the Central African Republic.

Brutal activities of Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic have intensified since the end of last year, especially around the gold-rich prefecture of Ouham, which borders Chad.

Last October, Russians flew in a helicopter and attacked areas near Koka, dropping grenades on miners. According to witnesses cited by CNA, 12 miners were killed in repeated attacks over five days. The Russians detained and tortured dozens of local men and burned many houses.

Since then, mercenaries have been patrolling the vast gold-bearing areas of Ouham in military vehicles to prevent locals from mining the ore. They order them to leave the land, claiming it belongs to them because they purchased it from the government.

Russian mercenaries have killed more than 900 civilians in the Central African Republic since December 2020, making them the deadliest armed group operating in the country, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, an organization that analyzes and maps armed conflicts.

Main image source: Wagner Account/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images



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