Three Russian “allies” and two Central African police officers were killed by an explosive device in the northwest of the Central African Republic, Bangui reported. The Russian embassy has announced that it is verifying reports on the deaths of its citizens.
“Three Russian allies and two Central African police officers were killed, there are also wounded,” Central African government spokesman Ange Maxime Kazagui said on May 30. According to UN sources quoted by AFP, a military convoy struck an explosive device on the side of the road between Berbérati and Bouar, more than 400 km from the capital, Bangui.
A Russian helicopter was sent to the site to repatriate the bodies of the victims and five wounded belonging to the Central African army and police, the sources said. For its part, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Central African Republic is verifying the reports on the deaths of three Russians, the ambassador told the RIA agency.
Moscow has maintained a large contingent of instructors since 2018 to train the Central African army. In December, Russia dispatched 300 additional military instructors at the request of the country’s government.
The UN for its part assured on May 28 that eleven people were killed in less than a month by mines in the Central African Republic, mainly in the north-west of the country, where some of the last strongholds of armed rebel groups are located. controlled until mid-January more than two-thirds of the territory. The presence of mines and explosive devices is a recent phenomenon in a country marked by years of armed conflict.