On Tuesday, France said that it had killed jihadists in central Mali during an airstrike, however, many people of the local group and villagers said that the attack killed 20 wedding guests.
As per Mali people, a wedding party was attacked by an unidentified helicopter and killed more than 20 people. Those people were not jihadists, claimed the local people.
However, French military headquarters said jets had “neutralized” dozens of jihadists in central Mali after the group had been tracked for several days. “The reports relating to a wedding do not match the observations that were made,” an army spokesman said.
It is pertinent to mention here that offensive aerial operations in Mali are mainly conducted by the Malian military or by the French anti-jihadist force Barkhane.
“It was run for your lives,” said Ahmadou Ghana, who said 19 people died, including two of his brothers, and several others were seriously wounded. “We were surprised by the intensity of the strike,” said another villager, Mady Dicko, adding: “The helicopter was flying very low.”
On the other hand, the French army said,
“There can’t be any doubts or ambiguity, there was no wedding.”
“This was a strike that was carried out after a particularly strict, multi-party process on a fully identified armed terrorist group, after collating information, intentions, posture, in a studied area,” the source said.
It is still unclear whether the French military or the villagers is right.