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Wagner Boss Blames France for CAR Attack

FILE: Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Yvgeny Prigozhin (right) in a September 20, 2010 photo. Prigohin said on September 26, 2022 he had founded the Wagner Group mercenary force and confirmed its deployment to African countries.

The founder of the Russian private military company "Wagner Group" accused France on Friday of being behind an assassination attempt on a Russian official, Dmitry Syty, who was wounded by a parcel bomb in the Central African Republic.

"Before losing consciousness, Dmitry Syty managed to say: 'I saw a note: This is for you from all the French, the Russians will get out of Africa'," Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in a statement posted on Telegram.

"I have already applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to initiate the procedure for declaring France a state sponsor of terrorism, as well as a thorough investigation of the terrorist methods of France and its Western allies - the United States and others," Prigozhin said.

The CAR describes Wagner Group as "military advisers but France, the UN and others say they are mercenaries from the Kremlin-backed Wagner group, who have been linked with atrocities and looting of resources."

Paris last year decided to suspend military cooperation with Bangui, deeming it complicit in an anti-French campaign allegedly steered by Russia.