The Malian government on Saturday denied allegations the army carried out mass summary executions of civilians in the centre of the country earlier in March.
Its statement follows the U.N. peacekeeping mission’s decision on Friday to investigate the killing of dozens of people in the rural commune of Diabaly.
A video circulating on social media this week showed dozens of badly-burned bodies that were blindfolded and had their hands bound together. Some of them appeared to have holes in the back of their heads.
An official in central Mali, who asked not to be named, said the bodies were found on Tuesday night and are believed to be people who were arrested by the Malian army, some on Feb. 20 and others on March 1.
The government said any allegations of the army’s involvement were completely false. “This act in no way constitutes the modus operandi of our forces,” it said, announcing its own investigation.