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AFRICOM Accuses Russia’s Wagner Group of Planting Land Mines in Libya

AFRICOM Accuses Russia’s Wagner Group of Planting Land Mines in Libya

Thursday, 16 July, 2020 - 07:45
A large improvised explosive device connected to the Wagner Group hidden in cinder blocks within a residential area in Tripoli. AFRICOM
Cairo - Jamal Jawhar

The US military on Wednesday accused Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group of planting land mines and improvised explosive devices in and around the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The US Africa Command, or AFRICOM, said verified photographic evidence shows “indiscriminately placed booby traps and minefields” around the outskirts of Tripoli.

"The Wagner Group’s irresponsible tactics are prolonging conflict and are responsible for the needless suffering and the deaths of innocent civilians,” said Marine Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, director of operations at the US Africa Command.

UN experts have said the Wagner Group provided between 800-1,200 mercenaries to bolster the Libyan National Army’s offensive on Tripoli, despite the denial of LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari.

"The Wagner Group’s reckless use of landmines and booby traps are harming innocent civilians,” said Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, AFRICOM’s director of intelligence.

“Imagery and intelligence assessments show how Russia continues to interfere in Libyan affairs,” she said.

The Libyan Government of National Accord backed by Turkey accuses Moscow of supporting the LNA by providing it with fighters from the Wagner Group.

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