Accessibility links

Breaking News

Wagner Boss Says Mercenaries in Mali Unhurt

FILE: This French military photo shows three Russian mercenaries, right, in northern Mali. Taken Jan. 6, 2022.

MOSCOW - The head of Russia's Wagner military group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Wednesday denied that any of his fighters were among casualties in a jihadist-claimed attack in central Mali.

"I can say that, according to my information, there were absolutely no (Wagner) casualties in Sevare," Prigozhin said on social media, in response to a question from AFP.

"Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and other organisations try to brag, but they've been weak for several years and are unable to attack anyone," he said, referring to the Support Group for Islam and Muslims' (GSIM) Arab name, commonly transcribed as Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM).

GSIM has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Sevare on Saturday, saying dozens of Malian soldiers and Russian "mercenaries" had been killed or wounded.

The Mali junta began working with what it calls Russian instructors from the Wagner group in 2022.

"On the terrorists' side, from what I know, there are heavy losses. The Malian army has perfect control in Mali," Prigozhin said.

Mali's government announced that 10 civilians and three soldiers died in the attack, along with dozens of jihadists.

The GSIM acknowledged the death of 15 of its fighters in the raid at Sevare.