Officials in Northern Mali have alleged that French troops killed six civilians in an airstrike in the Gao region on Thursday.
The deceased were young men of ages 15-20 who were hunting birds and had one gun between them.
France insists that the airstrike hit members of an Islamic militant group. “This strike was ordered after a phase of surveillance and identification permitting the characterization of the presence of an armed terrorist group,” the French military said in a statement.
This is the second time this year that French troops, who are present in the Sahel region to help fight terrorism, have been accused of killing civilians. In January, they were accused of killing 19 civilians attending a wedding in central Mali.
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