Civilian casualties from French air strikes mounting in Mali
Human rights groups and journalists have complained that they have not been permitted access to Malian war zones. They have also not been given information on civilian and military casualties. After being contacted by Press TV, France’s Ministry of Defense said that there have been no civilian casualties, thanks to the precision of their air strikes. This claim of military perfection has been trumpeted since the beginning of the invasion. But the mayor of the Malian town of Konna recently declared that 11 civilians died as a result of French air strikes, including women and children. No one knows if there have been similar deaths in other areas of conflict, because since the war started Mali’s government has not issued a single figure about the war’s human casualties. Malian soldiers have been accused of summarily executing dozens of people, some only because of their ethnicity or for lacking identity papers.